Madden NFL 21: Lamar Jackson Cover, Release Date, Trailer and New Features

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2020

EA Sports

Lamar Jackson may have already let the cat out of the bag, but EA Sports made it official Monday: The reigning NFL MVP is the cover athlete for Madden 21.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

@BleacherReport @EAMaddenNFL @BRGaming The @EAMaddenNFL MVP edition is too clean https://t.co/sPqIYX1Mps

EA also provided details on a new game mode coming to this year's release: 

Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame: A playable documentary career campaign where players create a quarterback, halfback or wide receiver and play through their rise to fame with experiences in high school and college, at the NFL Combine and NFL Draft, as well as in the NFL. 

Among other features, there will be more than 50 new Superstar X-Factor abilities, Live Playbooks 2.0, and a new season of Ultimate Team content.

Jackson is the second Baltimore Ravens player to grace the Madden cover, joining Ray Lewis (Madden 2005). He's coming off an MVP season that saw him throw for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns against six interceptions, adding 1,206 yards and seven scores on the ground in the greatest dual-threat season in NFL history.

“I grew up playing Madden and owned every copy I could get my hands on, so to be on the cover of Madden NFL 21 is a dream come true, especially when the cover represents so much of my story,” said Jackson. “The welcome to the Madden family from around the league and from fans has been phenomenal and I think people will have a lot of fun with the new features coming in this year’s game.” 

While EA typically keeps its cover athletes under embargo, Jackson couldn't stop himself from expressing his excitement in an April interview with reporters.

"It's always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid," Jackson said. "It's dope. For me to be on the front...it's a dream come true. That's what the cover is for, the kids around here (Baltimore), where I'm from, stuff like that. It's pretty cool."

The Checkdown @thecheckdown

We gave Ravens players a sneak peek at Lamar on the cover of Madden NFL 21 🔥 @EAMaddenNFL @Ravens @Lj_era8 @markingram21 @Willie_Snead4G @ZEUS__78 @Mandrews_81 @megatronnie @jtuck9 https://t.co/tNCXNT64es

Jackson is the second straight quarterback to appear on the Madden cover after Patrick Mahomes featured on Madden 19. This is the first time Madden has gone back-to-back with players of the same position since Vince Young (Madden 08) and Brett Favre (Madden 09). Jackson said he hopes his Madden season ends with hoisting a Super Bowl trophy like Mahomes last season.

"I'm not worried about a curse," Jackson said. "Patrick Mahomes was on the front and he also won a MVP, so I hope that's the curse. I'd love to follow Mahomes' path of MVP, then Super Bowl. That'd be a great path to follow right now." 

Madden 21 will be made available worldwide Aug. 28 and gamers with the MVP Edition can play three days early on Aug. 25.