For the first time in four years, Colin Kaepernick is appearing in an EA Sports Madden game, Madden ‘21. The free agent quarterback and civil rights activist has not appeared in a Madden game (or the NFL) since 2017. When EA Sports released its latest update to Madden ‘21, Kaepernick was added. He’s immediately available to play in Franchise Modes and Play Now games. The original release of the game, which dropped in late August, had not included him. That’s corrected.
EA Madden tweeted a picture of Kaepernick on September 8th and released a subsequent statement on the decision to add Kaepernick into the game. Kaepernick has a long history with EA Sports’ premier football gaming franchise. He has appeared in commercials for the games in the past. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was last playable in Madden ‘17. And as special recognition, Kaep has been given a signature touchdown celebration in Madden ‘21, which is a raised fist.
According to EA Sports, when Kaepernick became a free agent after the 2016 season, the company lost the rights to create him in the games because he wasn’t included in subsequent group licensing agreements with the NFL’s Players Association.
Rated Too High
While it’s great Kaep is back in the game, and hopefully finds his way back into the league at some point, his Madden rating is just too high. He is an 81 overall rating. To say the least, that is inflated for a quarterback who hasn’t played a game in 4 seasons. For a little perspective, here are some NFL starting quarterbacks rated below Kaepernick. Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Arizona’s Kyler Murray, New England’s Cam Newton, and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill – who was one game away from making the Super Bowl last season. It’s a nice gesture by EA Sports, but it feels like there’s some over compensation.
In their statement, EA Sports had this to say about his rating; “Knowing that our EA SPORTS experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football.”