As 2019 NFL free agency continues, a number of already agreed-upon deals were made official Wednesday with the start of the league year. Two of the biggest transactions involve recent “Madden” cover athletes in Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.
Brown is coming off a year in which he was on the cover of “Madden NFL 19,” and his rating stands at 99 Overall. Only three other players (Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner, Khalil Mack) currently hold the coveted 99 rating. Beckham was featured on the cover of “Madden NFL 16” and is the game’s fourth highest-rated receiver at 96 Overall.
Those two might be the most high-profile names on the move for the upcoming season, but many others will heavily influence the effectiveness of teams in “Madden NFL 20” when it releases in August.
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More often than not, the teams that make the biggest splashes in free agency don’t end up following the aggression with great success on the field. But in “Madden,” it’s all about individual talent rather than coaching and chemistry.
It should come as no surprise that all of the teams below failed to reach the playoffs last season and are trying to change their fortunes.
Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders
While it somehow remains unclear where the Raiders will play in 2019, they are putting together a roster that should prove entertaining for Las Vegas when the move is officially made. The addition of Brown, safety LaMarcus Joyner (87 Overall), offensive tackle Trent Brown (81 Overall) and a slew of draft picks should make them more competitive immediately.
For “Madden,” in which a disruptive personality like Brown doesn’t matter, the Raiders are shaping up to be one of the more fun teams to utilize. Their new Vegas stadium should be included beginning with the second season in Franchise Mode, making them an especially appealing pick to control.
Not only will the Browns be a fashionable “Madden” choice, but they could be a real contender in the AFC this season. Their lots of money and draft picks are paying off with the acquisition of Beckham, along with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (86 Overall) and end Olivier Vernon (83 Overall) adding to an already fierce pass rush.
Cleveland will also bring on running back Kareem Hunt after he completes his probable suspension. He was the second highest-rated running back last season before his release and subsequent removal from “Madden.” He might rank third now with Le’Veon Bell’s return.
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New York Jets
Bell’s rating in “Madden” dropped last season while he sat out, but at 93 Overall, he remains behind only Todd Gurley atop the list of running backs. He is the dynamic, versatile weapon the Jets were lacking. The offense has a few other new pieces, too, in guard Kelechi Osemele (83 Overall) and wide receiver Jamison Crowder (80 Overall).
On defense, they will have a big upgrade with middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (87 Overall).
The Lions and coach Matt Patricia went after former Patriots, bringing in defensive end Trey Flowers (88 Overall), wide receiver Danny Amendola (82 Overall) and defensive back Justin Coleman. “Madden” has probably underrated Coleman, who is just 79 Overall, but Detroit made him the highest-paid nickel corner in the league.
Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, hosts the Press Row Podcast and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.
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