Tom Brady has it all. Really.

MVP awards. Super Bowl MVP awards. One, two, three, four, five rings. A supermodel wife. His status as the greatest ever.

Did he really need the Madden cover too?

The 39-year-old quarterback was unveiled as the face of the “Madden 18” video game Friday, but there’s at least a handful of NFLers Brady could have ceded this honor to. Here are five of them.

Antonio Brown


(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

Stunningly, only three wide receivers have ever graced the cover of the popular video game franchise. We are deep into the era of the receiver, however, and a few of these guys deserve some shine.

Odell Beckham Jr. was the “Madden 16” cover athlete, and Antonio Brown is next in line. Aside from leading the league in receptions in two of his first seven years, he nearly topped 2,000 receiving yards in 2015.

The Pittsburgh Steelers star is not only one of the most popular players in the league, he ranks alongside Beckham as one of its most entertaining. His highlight reel includes a goalpost crotch dive, end-zone twerk, and a kick to a punter’s sternum.

What else does a guy have to do?

Ezekiel Elliott


(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

Why not give it to the most popular player in the league?

Elliott led the league in merchandise sales in his first season, so obviously he can sell some product. He produced a superstar season for one of, if not the, most popular franchises in professional sports.

Plus, how good would he have looked on the cover peeking out from that Salvation Army kettle?

Cam Newton


(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

A runner-up twice, it’s almost cruel that Newton hasn’t graced the video game’s cover yet.

In fan votes, Newton lost out to Calvin Johnson in 2013 and Richard Sherman in 2015. On both occasions, the cover was revealed live with Newton in attendance.

Newton set the league on fire in 2015, losing just one game in the regular season, winning the MVP award, and making an appearance in the Super Bowl. His 2016 was a disappointment and he could have used a pick-me-up. One could also argue that he managed to experience the Madden curse without even making the cover after last year’s 6-10 season.

David Johnson


(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

A favorite of the fantasy football set, Johnson is a video game player come to life. He’s also the model of today’s running back, adept at both rushing and catching the ball out of the backfield.

Entering just his third NFL season, he’ll have many more years to achieve the title of Madden cover star. He’d join Larry Fitzgerald as the only Arizona Cardinal to be the face of the Madden franchise.

Marshawn Lynch


(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

Lynch, in black and silver, on “Madden 18” would have moved units.

Even in retirement, Marshawn was one of the NFL’s most beloved athletes. Now that he’s returned to the league to play for his hometown team, it’s possible he’s gained even more favor with the public.

The Raiders are set up to be the league’s darling in 2018. It could have been a match that John Madden – even at the age of 81 – would have approved.

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