With training camp just around the corner, EA Sports granted NFL players this week what appears for most as yet another motivational tool ahead of the 2019–2020 NFL season.

Prior to the video game’s commercial release on August 20, the award-winning gaming company released this year’s Madden rankings on Monday.

The rankings grade each player in categories such as speed, strength, accuracy, tackling, blocking and others on a 1–100 scale. The game also averages out each player’s individual skill scores, eventually stamping each player with an overall score by using the same numeric format. With the averages released to the public, multiple players including Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, and Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu expressed unapologetic displeasure when initially reacting to not only their own scores, but also those of others players belonging to the tightly knit NFL fraternity.

Aside from the football community’s generally negative reception, the managed rankings praised some players effectively. Four players achieved a remarkable 99 OVR, the highest ranking possible. Last year, the game featured seven players posting a 99 overall. However, this year’s “99 club” shrunk but still included Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner

Looking to ease the tension amid the storm stirred up by controversial rankings, six–time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady proceeded to step in and jokingly tweeted out a video illustrating his underrated speed. Brady appeared to be somewhat mocking other players for feeling disrespected by the rankings.


Although the phrase “it’s just a game” translates with even greater value to this specific situation for NFL players, this phenomenon certainly adds another reason to expect further competitiveness next year, as this upcoming season offers a prime opportunity to prove the EA critics wrong.

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