He’s the name of the game and he’s appeared on the sidelines, but until now, John Madden has never been playable on EA Sports’ 35-year-old Madden NFL series. John Madden, a two-way lineman drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958, is available to all Madden Ultimate Team players in Madden NFL 23 start today.
An all-conference selection at offensive tackle for the Cal Poly Mustangs in 1957, Madden played both offensive and defensive line in college. In MUT, players get two cards to him just for logging in: a 91-rated defensive tackle and a 99-rated offensive tackle. The DT Madden can be upgraded to an overall of 99 by completing a series of challenges. The OT Madden can be used on all five positions of the offensive line (guards, tackles or center).
In MUT, he wears the uniform your team wears; here he is pictured with the Eagles with the number he wore in training camp. In 1959, Madden tore ligaments in his knee, ending his playing career prematurely. While in rehab, he watched a movie with Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, from which he developed the concepts and schemes he would use as a coach for the next 18 years.
Madden has appeared several times in his video game of the same name as a commentator, tutorial advisor (in Madden NFL 09), and most recently in MUT as a head coach. This is his first playable appearance, although offensive linemen are all AI controlled.
John Madden, who was signed at Canton in 2006, retired from coaching in 1978 as the winningest (percentage) head coach in NFL history, a record that still stands, and led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl championship in 1977. After leaving coaching, he joined Pat Summerall in the CBS booth to form the NFL’s largest and longest-running broadcasting partnership. Madden died on December 28, 2021 at his home in Pleasanton, California.