NFL players (and video game fans) are slowly starting to learn what kind of player ratings they’ll be in store for when the Madden 2016 game comes out. There was a funny piece on new NFL rookies reacting to their ratings, while yesterday Dallas Cowboys stud wide receiver Dez Bryant learned about his speed rating.
He got an 89.
Needless to say, he wasn’t too happy, and he let Madden hear about it on Twitter. Two things here, for those giving two craps about Bryant, the Cowboys and/or Madden. First, this is a total miss. If we’re to compare Bryant to other elite speed wide receivers in the league, he’s plenty close to them in reality. In the Madden game, an elite receiver would carry a 95+ speed rating. A few years back the untouchable Devin Hester was the first ever 99-speed player.
But 89? Bryant has reason to gripe here. Even if he’s not as fast as Antonio Brown or Jeremy Maclin, he still has to be better than a 90. Suddenly, all Madden ratings for 2016 are on watch here, and if they’re as jacked up as Dez Bryant’s speed rating clearly is, we could be less than pleased with some of the other ratings.
My other beef, which has taken me forever to get to, is the insanely rapid speed rating decline in Madden’s franchise mode. Perhaps they fixed that issue in the new game, but in last year’s game, players saw their speed rating take a complete nose dive pretty much after the time they hit the age of 30. Guys who were total burners like Julio Jones would start with something like a 95 speed rating, but by the time there were 36 it dropped all the way down to 70. In some cases, the Madden speed rating was cratering at record rates, as a 35-year old Richard Sherman, from what I recall, had a 54 speed rating.
This horrid speed rating decline also hurt the cool “un-retiring” aspect of franchise mode in 2014. Reggie Wayne would retire (as he totally should), only to come back at age 41 and have a paltry 48 speed rating. I know he’s a regressing possession receiver, but come on.
The Dez Bryant speed rating is a disappointing fine, especially if this awful speed rating decline is something that sticks. After all, you could use the Cowboys or draft Dez in a fantasy draft and two years later his speed is sapped and down to like 76. That’s not good for anybody.
Luckily, Madden’s miss on the speed rating in this specific case have nothing to do with real fantasy football. In that department, Dez Bryant remains a total stud. Feel free to draft him in round two if he falls to you, 89-rating, and all.