REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (UPI) — New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas on Friday was selected as the final member of the 99 club on “Madden NFL 21,” the highest rating an NFL player can receive in the popular football video game.
Thomas, 27, had an NFL-record 149 catches last season. He also led the NFL with 1,725 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns in 16 games for the Saints. The four-year veteran has made the Pro Bowl three times and has been named an All-Pro in back-to-back seasons.
Madden ratings are split into many categories and are valued on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the rating for a particular skill, the better a player can perform in the video game. Higher individual skill ratings increase a player’s overall rating.
Thomas received a 95 overall rating in Madden NFL 20. His new rating includes a 99 catch attribute, 98 catch-in-traffic rating and a 99 for short route-running.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, New England Patriots cornerback Stefon Gilmore, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey have also received 99 overall ratings for Madden NFL 21. Donald has received a 99 overall rating for four consecutive years.
NFL players speak out every year a new version of Madden is released, often angry about their ratings being too low. Baltimore Ravens quarterback and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson will be on the cover of Madden NFL 21. Jackson received a 94 overall rating in the game.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Mahomes said. “When you grow up as a little kid, you see those guys get that 99 rating. It’s a special thing.”
Reporting by Alex Butler