On Thursday, it was revealed by EA Sports that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs signal-caller Patrick Mahomes would be on the cover of Madden NFL 22. The cover came months after Brady led the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl title since 2002 with a 31-9 win over Mahomes and company in Super Bowl LV. It was expected that Brady and Mahomes would grace the cover after EA Sports released a teaser featuring former Cleveland Browns running back and Madden NFL cover athlete Peyton Hillis and two goats, per Nick Shook of NFL.com.

This would be the first time that Madden will feature two athletes in its cover since Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu appeared on the front.

After the cover was released, Brady’s former New England Patriots teammate and friend Julian Edelman trolled his former quarterback, posting on Twitter a screenshot of an older Madden game, which did not include Brady’s name and photo but only indicated “QB No. 12”, per Jaclyn Hendricks of the New York Post. Edelman also accompanied the tweet with the caption “You’ve come a long way since ‘QB No. 12’ @TomBrady.” Brady then responded to Edelman’s tweet via his Instagram story, where he shared it together with the caption “my graduation song” with two tears of joy emojis.

Brady came a long way

In that photo, “QB No. 12” was fourth on the depth chart behind starter Drew Bledsoe, John Friesz, and Michael Bishop. It will be recalled that after the Patriots drafted Brady as the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, they carried him as their fourth quarterback.

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But he eventually earned the starting spot the next season after Bledsoe went down with a season-ending injury in Week 2. That season, Brady led the Patriots to the first of their six Super Bowl wins. After 20 seasons with the team, Brady signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers the previous offseason and led the team to success by winning his seventh Super Bowl ring.

Just recently, Brady signed a four-year extension that is essentially a one-year deal with the Buccaneers, allowing him to fulfill his dream to play until he’s 45 years old.

Brady calls Madden 22 cover a cool thing

Despite his accolades and achievements, Brady was first featured as the cover of Madden 18. "So it's a really cool thing,” Brady said of his latest Madden cover. The 43-year-old Brady added that it’s a huge honor doing the cover with Mahomes. According to Brady, they did the cover shoot in Tampa, Florida while recovering from their injuries. Brady just recently underwent knee surgery while Mahomes had foot surgery. "It wasn't like it was a skills competition out there," Brady said, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.