As those who follow Arizona sports betting know, few NFL accolades mean as much to players as getting the nod to be the cover athlete of EA Sports’ Madden video game.
Now that we know Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will be the Madden 24 cover athlete, BetArizona.com utilized Pro-Football-Reference.com's approximate value stat to determine which players have had the most productive seasons while gracing the cover, and yes, a familiar Arizona Cardinal made the cut.
In this list, we ranked all cover running backs and wide receivers. Barry Sanders was excluded as he was retired when on the cover of Madden 25 (2014).
Madden Cover Athletes (WR/RB) with the Best Seasons
BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona currently has this year's Cardinals squad at +1000 to make the NFL playoffs.
Where Cardinals Legend Larry Fitzgerald Ranks
It turns out former Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald is among the skill position players to post one of the best seasons, approximate value wise, in Madden cover athlete history.
The future Pro Football Hall of Famer (who donned the Madden video game cover in 2009), posted a top-line season for Arizona that year, with 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns — netting the former Pittsburgh Panther an approximate value of 9. It's too bad for fans in the Valley that Fitzgerald can no longer give the Cardinals a boost across Arizona NFL betting.
Overall, Fitzgerald’s 2009-10 campaign in the Valley ranked fifth among NFL wideouts and running backs in terms of approximate value — coming in behind former Lions wideout Calvin Johnson and Titans back Eddie George (14 apiece), as well as Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. (13) and then-Steeler Antonio Brown (10).
Fitzgerald ranks in a tie with former St. Louis Rams back Marshall Faulk for value, with the running back gaining 953 rushing yards and 537 receiving yards to go with 10 total touchdowns during the team’s 2002 campaign.
As Far As Wideouts Are Concerned
As far as NFL wideouts that graced the Madden cover are concerned, Fitzgerald’s 2009 campaign ranks as the third best by approximate value, as Brown had 10 AV with the Steelers during the team’s 2018 season.
Beckham, meanwhile, netted 13 AV after hauling in 96 catches for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Giants in 2015 — asserting himself as one of the NFL’s best pass catchers.
Six years prior to that, Fitzgerald had an equally impressive campaign for the Cardinals, stamping himself as a franchise cornerstone during the first two decades of the 21st century.
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