Over the years, Madden has created an allure around the “99 Club,” which is the game’s highest-rated players. For all intents and purposes, these guys are viewed as perfect. This week, most of the ratings for Madden 21 have been leaked, and four players were blessed with the elusive 99 rating — Patrick Mahomes, Stephon Gilmore, Christian McCaffery, and Aaron Donald. EA Sports claims there will be more of them, but we already know Julio Jones won’t be one, as Madden placed a 96 rating on him.
If there was ever a year that Jones didn’t deserve the honor of being in the 99 Club, this was probably it. The old man only caught 99 balls for 1,394 yards, breaking his streak of consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 yards receiving at five. However, the fact that arguably the second or third greatest receiver of all-time has never received a 99 rating is blasphemous.
In 2018, Jones led the NFL in receiving with 1,677 yards. That resulted in a rating of 98 in Madden 2020, even though De’Andre Hopkins — who had over 100 fewer yards receiving — made the Club. In fact, Jones has been a 98 overall in Madden’s 2017-2019. Even after putting up one of the most historic receiving seasons of all-time (2016), when he caught a league-leading 136 balls for a league-leading 1,871 yards, Madden did not think he was deserving of joining the 99 Club.
So my question to Madden: What does this guy have to do to get some recognition?
When you ask any current or former player, pretty much everyone would say, if God himself sent down a perfect wide receiver, it would look like Julio Jones. He is bigger, faster, stronger, and more technical than everyone else at his position. Furthermore, Jones has the stats to back it up. Clearly, whoever makes these ratings has some sort of bias, and I need to know why he’s a Saints fan. It might take Jones 2,000-yards, 15 TDs, and three saved lives this year for Madden to consider letting him in the Club, but I wouldn’t put it past him to accomplish those feats, even at 31-years-old.
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