Alright, football fans, it's that time of year again. It's time for the next iteration of Madden NFL to get its cover athlete.
Electronic Arts released the four finalists (via Gamespot) and they include Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (coming off a phenomenal rookie season that included this catch), Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, and New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (Él es fiesta, ¿sabes?).
This year, EA is opening votes via the Madden NFL Mobile game and through the Madden Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 15. Console users can vote once per day, but can earn extra votes by completing Solo Challenges. Mobile users can likewise earn more than one vote per day by completing challenges.
Of course, it should be noted that there's been something of a coincidence that many Madden cover athletes happened to suffer some sort of injury or, at the very least, a significant drop in production during the subsequent season. Last year's cover athlete, CB Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, managed to make it through the regular season without getting hurt, but suffered an elbow injury during the NFC Championship Game. Sherman played through the Super Bowl and will not require surgery, so despite the Madden Curse's best efforts, it looks like the Seattle CB managed to escape last season relatively unscathed.
The first round of voting closes next Monday, May 11, with two finalists emerging. Votes will then open up on ESPN.com, where the winner will be revealed on May 13 during the 3PM PDT edition of ESPN's SportsCenter.