Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote Athletes Revealed

See the full 64-player list and find out who we think has the best chance of winning.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


For a Madden fan, the most important day of 2012 is the day of the iconic franchise's newest release. The second most important day is the announcement of the cover athlete. In past years the cover athlete  announcement has spawned debate about whether or not the winner is deserving, who "should" have been selected, and of course whether or not the dreaded Madden curse will doom that player's season. Last year's cover athlete, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, missed six games due to injury and will likely NOT be with the team next year. 

For the selection of the cover athlete last year, EA Sports created a 32-player bracket and let the fans decide who would grace the cover of Madden 12. It was such a popular decision, with over 13 million votes  cast, that EA Sports has brought back the fan vote to determine the cover athlete for Madden 13. The field this year has been expanded to 64 candidates (2 players per team), and fans will have from March 7th to  March 21st to vote for which player will represent each team in the field of 64.

Voters can go to the ESPN SportsNation facebook page to cast their vote.

Below I have a breakdown of all the players selected for the first round of the selection process and who I would vote for vs. who I believe the fans will vote for. Every voter will have their own way of deciding who to vote for, but I have a few guidelines that I follow when making my selection.

1. I don't want a two-time cover athlete

Drew Brees, Mike Vick, Larry Fitzgerald, Troy Polamalu.

Polamalu and Fitzgerald shared a cover on Madden 10, but for me, personally, the only person that should ever be allowed to be on the cover more than once is John Madden.

2. I'm not voting for a second-year player who didn't play all season or didn't have a great rookie season

Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert.

3. I'm not voting for someone who could be gone in free-agency

Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd, Robert Mathis.

Could all of these players return to their current team? Yes. But does anybody else remember when Brett Favre was on the cover of Madden 09 as a Packer, but started the season with the Jets?

Here is a breakdown of each division and team's selections…






Ryan Fitzpatrick

Reggie Bush

Derrelle Revis

Rob Gronkowski

Steve Johnson

Brandon Marshall

Mark Sanchez

Wes Welker

My Picks: Johnson, Marshall, Revis, Gronkowski

Projected Fan Picks: Fitzpatrick, Bush, Revis, Gronkowski

Gronkowski is probably going to come out on top of this division.






A.J. Green

Joe Haden

Ray Rice

Ben Roethlisberger

Andy Dalton

Joe Thomas

Terrell Suggs

Troy Polamalu

My Picks: Green, Thomas, Suggs, Roethlisberger

Projected Fan Picks: Thomas, Haden, Rice, Polamalu

I'm surprised by the fact that who I would pick and who the fans might pick are this different. But there is still enough hatred for Big Ben to keep him out, voters will probably go quarterback over wide receiver (Dalton), and offense over defense (Thomas, Rice). As a Steeler fan, I don't want one of mine on the cover of Madden so I'm going to say Ray Rice emerges as the winner of the division.






Dwight Freeney

Maurice Jones-Drew

Arian Foster

Chris Johnson

Robert Mathis

Blaine Gabbert

Andre Johnson

Jake Locker

My Picks: Freeney, Jones-Drew, Foster, Johnson

Projected Fan Picks: Freeney, Jones-Drew, Foster, Johnson

I think Arian Foster easily wins the votes in a VERY weak division.






Tim Tebow

Phillip Rivers

Dwayne Bowe

Sebaastian Janikowski

Von Miller

Antonio Gates

Derrick Johnson

Shane Lechler

My Picks: Miller, Gates, Johnson, Janikowski

Projected Fan Picks: Tebow, Rivers, Bowe, Janikowski

I would LOVE to see a kicker make it to the final 8. But let's be realistic, the fans will pick Tebow (even though Von Miller had a better season last year).  And until he's out of the league, there's a group of fans who will vote him in every year.






DeMarcus Ware

LaSean McCoy

Jason Pierre-Paul

Brian Orakpo

Jason Witten

Mike Vick

Victor Cruz

Ryan Kerrigan

My Picks: Ware, McCoy, Cruz, Orakpo

Projected Fan Picks: Ware, McCoy, Cruz, Orakpo

McCoy is the most deserving player to win the division, but don't be surprised if either of the two Giants players make a deep run at the cover.






Jay Cutler

Calvin Johnson

Aaron Rodgers

Percy Harvin

Matt Forte

Matthew Stafford

Clay Matthews

Jared Allen

My Picks: Cutler, Stafford, Rodgers, Allen

Projected Fan Picks: Cutler, Stafford, Rodgers, Harvin

This is by far the strongest division for candidates and at least two players will not make the field of 32 that could have had a chance to win the division, Rodgers is the most deserving though.






Lagarrette Blount

Matt Ryan

Cam Newton

Drew Brees

Josh Freeman

Julio Jones

Steve Smith

Jimmy Graham

My Picks: Blount, Ryan, Newton, Graham

Projected Fan Picks: Freeman, Ryan, Newton, Brees

As I wrote above, I'm not voting for a previous cover athlete so I'm not picking Brees. But either Brees or Newton will win this division (probably Brees in a close vote).






Patrick Willis

Larry Fitzgerald

Brandon Lloyd

Marshawn Lynch

Vernon Davis

Patrick Peterson

Chris Long

Earl Thomas

My Picks: Willis, Peterson, Long, Lynch

Projected Fan Picks: Willis, Fitzgerald, Lloyd, Lynch

Fitzgerald has been on the cover and Lloyd may not return to St. Louis, either of the two 49ers players could win the division, but I believe Lynch will come out on top.

Check back with to see who makes the field of 32, who wins the final cover athlete vote and for all your other Madden 13 news, previews and reviews.