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Niners RB Christian McCaffrey to appear on cover of 'Madden NFL 25'

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The reigning Offensive Player of the Year might have missed out on NFL MVP in 2023, but he's earned another significant honor in 2024.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey was revealed as the cover athlete for Madden NFL 25 on Tuesday.

"It's a huge honor," McCaffrey told NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero and NFL Senior National Columnist Judy Battista on Tuesday's The Insiders. "This is something that I think about times where me and my brothers would be in the basement playing 'Madden 2001.' I'm going all the way back to them and having such a blast on the Nintendo 64. Throwing to my dad (Ed McCaffrey) on every play and fast forward to now being able to be on the cover is a massive honor."

McCaffrey, who signed a massive new extension last week, becomes the first running back to grace the cover of Madden since Adrian Peterson and Barry Sanders graced separate covers of Madden NFL 25 -- yes, you read that correctly -- which was named in honor of the game's 25th anniversary and released in 2013.

"It means a lot," McCaffrey said of being the first RB in more than a decade to grace the cover. "It means a huge amount, especially, in a time where running backs are slighted a little bit. I think it definitely means a lot. I'm so fired up to be able to be on it and share a cover with some guys like the Barry Sanders of the world, Marshall Faulk that I used to watch growing up and Adrian Peterson, obviously, Shaun Alexander. I've seen every single clip of theirs. So, to be able to share it with them means a lot."

The 49ers running back compiled a tremendous season in 2023, posting a career-best 1,459 rushing yards (which was also good for the top spot on the NFL leaderboard) to go along with 14 rushing touchdowns, while adding 67 receptions for 564 yards and seven receiving touchdowns for the NFC champions. His production and consistency lined him up to win NFL MVP, but he had to accept the consolation of Offensive Player of the Year after Lamar Jackson's hot finish to the 2023 season propelled the quarterback to the league's top honor.

McCaffrey joins Jackson -- the face of Madden NFL 21 -- in the exclusive club of players chosen to grace the cover of the only officially licensed NFL video game simulation, and follows Buffalo's Josh Allen, who appeared on the cover of the most recent iteration, Madden NFL 24. The seven-year NFL veteran will aim to live up to the expectation that comes with appearing on the game's cover as he and the 49ers embark on a defense of their NFL crown in 2024.

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