Madden 17 Names Rob Gronkowski Cover Star, Watch First Gameplay

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is the cover star for Madden NFL 17, EA Sports announced tonight on SportsCenter.

One of the NFL’s biggest names, Gronkowski is known for his on-field accomplishments (he is a four-time Pro Bowler and was a member of the Super Bowl XLIX-winning Patriots), as well as his fun-loving personality. He also likes to endorse products, as evidenced by this silly promotional video he did last year for Halo 5: Guardians.

EA Sports also released the first trailer for Madden NFL 17, which you can watch above. In the video, which combines “real-wold and game engine footage,” Gronkowski steamrolls and leaps over defenders.

Gronkowski, who is also on the cover of GQ this month with model Hailey Clauson, is the first tight end to ever be named as a Madden cover star.

For the first time since 2009, EA Sports decided the Madden cover athlete itself, not with a fan vote. Why? We asked, and were told, jokingly, it had something to do with another important vote taking place this year.

“With this election year upon us, we don’t want you to lose sleep over another big decision,” EA said about this decision. “So, we decided to take the pressure off this year and hand-select someone for the job.”

Gronkowski almost made it on the cover of Madden NFL 16, ultimately losing in the final voting round to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

A since-removed Xbox.com product page for Madden NFL 17 showcased Gronkowski, as well as other NFL standouts Antonio Brown and Von Miller.

We have also learned that there will be at least three different versions of Madden NFL 17. In addition to the standard $60 version, EA will offer an $80 Deluxe edition and a $100 Super Deluxe edition. The premium bundles come with things like a one-month membership to EA Access and various Ultimate Team items.

Madden NFL 17 launches on August 23, before the start of the 2016-2017 season, and is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

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