The Chicago Bears' Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald and Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner received special gold-trimmed cleats from Nike and EA Sports for earning a 99 overall rating in Madden NFL 20 ahead of the video game's worldwide release Friday.
"The Nike Madden 99 Club Cleats took inspiration from each athlete's personal journey and career to honor their success on the gridiron," the release noted. "Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack received custom Nike Force Savage Elites, and Bobby Wagner received Air Jordan I cleats—one of the most storied sneaker models of all time—completely reimagined for the gridiron."
Last year, the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly and Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown were gifted the special cleats. Gronkowski retired following the 2018 season, and Brown was traded to the Oakland Raiders in March.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was the only other player to achieve a 99 rating in this year's edition of Madden.
The four selections are a sizable decrease from before last season, when seven players were given a "perfect" rating—tying the highest number in the storied series' last 20 games.
Mack and Donald each received a 99 rating in last year's game, with Mack being upgraded to the highest level during the season, and Donald was also one of three members in the 99 Club for Madden NFL 18.
Meanwhile, it's the first time Wagner achieved the coveted status without needing to take matters into his own hands, as he described on Twitter:
Madden NFL 20 will be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when it's released Friday. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is this year's cover athlete.
Although being a member of the 99 Club can be fleeting, especially since EA Sports updates the ratings on a weekly basis throughout the season based on each player's performance, the unique cleats given to Mack, Donald and Wagner ensure it's an accomplishment they'll always remember.