I know it has been getting talked about a lot lately, so I thought I would throw this out from the Seattle Times
The cover boys
- 1999 ("Madden 2000"): Barry Sanders. The first NFL player to be on the cover quickly became the first former NFL player on the cover. He retired before training camp began.
- 2000 ("Madden 2001"): Eddie George. Hardly cursed as he rushed for 1,509 yards and 16 touchdowns, both career highs.
- 2001 ("Madden 2002"): Daunte Culpepper. Missed the final five games with a knee injury, but the curse kicked in well before the injury. He went from being tied for the league lead with 33 TD passes in 2000 to having almost as many interceptions (13) as touchdown passes (14) in 2001.
- 2002 ("Madden 2003"): Marshall Faulk. He rushed for 1,000 yards in seven of his first eight seasons, but he hasn't surpassed that mark since appearing on the cover of the game. In 2002, he missed two games with an injured ankle.
- 2003 ("Madden 2004"): Michael Vick. Suffered a broken right leg during an exhibition game. He missed the first 11 games of the regular season.
- 2004 ("Madden 2005"): Ray Lewis. The Ravens' linebacker didn't have an interception for the only time in his career. He missed the regular-season finale because of an injured wrist.
- 2005 ("Madden 2006"): Donovan McNabb. After the Eagles slipped to a 4-5 record, McNabb missed the final seven games because of a sports hernia.
- 2006 ("Madden 2007"): Shaun Alexander. He gained 187 yards in the first three games, his slowest start since 2002, and now is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his left foot.