When it comes to finding success in the National Football League and in Connected Franchise Mode in Madden NFL 25, there are two main paths you can follow to build a winning team: signing a key, proven free agent to slot in immediately, or building a team around a young, developing player found in the draft. This week I’ll be taking a look at the best players to bring in who will provide quick results, as well as the best players to build a franchise around. Today’s article focuses on the first group; I’ve selected one player at the quarterback, running back, receiver, “front seven” defense, and defensive secondary positions to compile my Top 5 Players Who Will Provide Quick Results in Madden NFL 25.
1.) Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
In something of an upset considering that big names like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees could all be picked here, I went with last year’s leader in overall Passer Rating: the former understudy and current king of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Rodgers came up just shy of Brees in touchdowns thrown, while managing 11 fewer interceptions; indeed, Rodgers’ 8 picks were among the fewest by a regular starter. Even though Rodgers isn’t an explosive dual threat quarterback on the ground, he has more than enough pocket presence and awareness to extend plays and give you what you need to run the offense. It will likely take a mortgage and giving up multiple years of draft picks, but landing Aaron Rodgers could improve nearly any quarterback situation in the NFL. Can you make the deal in Madden NFL 25’s Connected Franchise Mode?
2.) Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
The early selections stay in the NFC North, with “All Day” landing my pick as the running back most likely to provide quick results for your team in a Connected Franchise Mode for Madden NFL 25. Peterson managed to gain nearly 2,100 yards on the ground—and over 400 yards more than the next highest rusher, Alfred Morris of Washington—despite the Vikings lacking a serviceable passing game. With Madden NFL 25 placing such heavy emphasis on the “Run Free” slogan and all of the new moves achievable via the “Precision Modifier,” there’s no question that Peterson can transform your team completely on offense. Just imagine if you can put him in the same backfield as a Hall of Fame quarterback like Brady or Manning; how many Super Bowl rings can you collect if you land this move?
3.) Receiver: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
As a Patriots fan still shocked at the departure of Wes Welker, I considered putting Welker here; however, when it comes to a true game changing receiver, I had to go with the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete. Despite a disappointing season which saw only five receiving touchdowns for #81 in the Motor City, Johnson was the only player to average over 100 yards per game while also leading the league in receptions. It’s hard to think of a better player to have on your team, whether your quarterback in a veteran or just growing into their role in the NFL; with his reach and leaping ability, most passes only have to end up in his general direction to be brought down for a gain. With the passing game still a big part of the professional game—and “Run Free” applying to all ball carriers, not just running backs, in Madden NFL 25—adding Megatron to your Connected Franchise Mode team would see an immediate improvement to your ability to throw downfield.
4.) “Front Seven” Defender: J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
When you end up in the top 10 defensive players for passes defended and you play on the defensive line, you know you’re a special player; enter J.J. Watt, whose 16 passes defended put him far and away ahead of any other linemen in that category. Watt also led all players with 20.5 sacks on the season while forcing four fumbles and recovering two of them. Even though the Texans didn’t make much noise in the postseason after a promising start to the regular season, Watt is a key part of the defense which led Houston to a 12-4 record, including a 10-2 mark against teams from the AFC. Opposing teams have their quarterbacks practice against defenders holding tennis rackets over their heads when they prepare to face J.J. Watt; getting him on your team will give your opponents one more thing to worry about in your Connected Franchise in Madden NFL 25.
5.) Secondary Defender: Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
Outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman became a household name last year on the strength of a few things: 24 passes defended, leading the league; 8 interceptions, good enough for second in the NFL; 3 fumbles forced, including one fumble recovered; and, finally, taunting Tom Brady after a last-minute upset victory for Seattle over the visiting New England side. Sherman’s meme-ready photo post to Twitter—complete with a “U MAD BRO?” caption—made as much of a statement as his physical play, which helped lead the Seahawks defense to Top 10 rankings in both passing and rushing yards allowed per game last season. If you can manage to lure Sherman away from the Emerald City, you’ll have an emerging superstar who will bring an immediate boost to your defense in Connected Franchise Mode in Madden NFL 25.