With each day that passes, it looks less and less likely that we will see a tournament for the Madden 15 cover vote.  There could be a small bracket, but nothing like the 64 player 2 month long tournament that we’ve had in previous Madden NFL games.

Picking the cover athlete to a big sports franchise like Madden 15 is a science.  EA Sports knows that picking the wrong athlete to put on their cover could spark a backlash.  As silly as it sounds, some people will make their purchasing decision for Madden NFL 15 based in part on the cover.  So even if they can sell .1% more games by choosing a marketable cover athlete, it is something that will make a significant impact on their bottom line considering they sell millions of copies each year.

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The Madden 25 covers featured Barry Sanders for PS3 and XBOX 360 and Adrian Peterson on XBOX One and PlayStation 4.  That was probably a subtle reference to next generation vs. past generation consoles.  In doing so, however, they really limited who they could choose for the Madden 15 cover.  They can’t go old school, and they can’t go running back now.  Doing so would hint at a repeat of last years game.  That is the last thing EA Sports wants to do considering they constantly have to deflect criticism that each new game is no more than a roster update for the last.

Any player who has had any sort of controversy around them doesn’t stand a chance either.  That takes out more big name players like Ben Roethlisberger, Von Miller, Rob Gronkowski, Aldon Smith, Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon just to name a few.

Calvin Johnson was on the Madden 13 cover so he is out of the running as well.  There are plenty of talented receivers in the NFL but none nearly as marketable as Megatron.  The only real legitimate contenders at receiver would be guys like A.J. Green or Julio Jones but even those guys are a long shot.

This leaves us with either quarterbacks or defense.  Guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will never be on the cover.  For some reason they are never even in the cover vote.  Maybe they make enough endorsement money already or maybe they want to stay far away from the Madden curse.

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The smart money would be on a new school quarterback like Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III.  It also isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they go with a fan favorite like J.J. Watt.  A young defensive leader like Patrick Willis or Richard Sherman could also make the Madden 15 cover.

No matter what they decide to do, the cover athlete should be announced relatively soon.  Who do you want to see on the Madden 15 cover? Let us know in the comments section below.