Six weeks ahead of its scheduled release, the makers of the video game Madden NFL 19 announced that seven players had achieved the game’s highest rating of 99, based on their performance last season, and two were Patriots.
Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady — the last two athletes to grace the cover of the Madden game — were among the players given the perfect launch rating. Brady, who was named the league’s MVP last season at age 40, achieved a perfect launch rating for the fourth time in his career (the others coming in 2009, ’12, and ’18). He has come a long way since 2001, when as a rookie he had a 57 rating.
Gronkowski’s perfect rating is a 1-point increase from his previous launch rating of 98. The tight end actually finished last season with a 99 ranking after making 69 receptions for 1,084 yards in his return from injury in 2016.
Joining Gronkowski and Brady in the Madden 99 club are Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, and Rams defensive end Aaron Donald.
Madden NFL 19, a product of EA Sports, is set for an Aug. 10 release.