Why Marvin Harrison Jr. may not be in Madden NFL 25

2024 NFL Draft - Round 1
2024 NFL Draft - Round 1 / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Marvin Harrison Jr. was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the fourth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The son of former NFL legend and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison Sr., many consider Marvin Harrison Jr. to be a generational talent.

When drafted by the Cardinals, the first thought I had was, "I can't wait to trade for this guy in Madden 25."

Unfortunately, that may not be possible. Shortly after Harrison Jr. was drafted, it was reported that he had not yet signed a preliminary NFLPA licensing agreement. As NFL Insider Adam Schefter explained, this is an agreement that all draftees typically sign to allow their name and likeness to be monetized.

Because he has not yet signed it, fans can not purchase his jersey and he will not be featured in any video games. This includes EA's Madden franchise.

Why hasn't Marvin Harrison Jr. signed his NFLPA licensing agreement?

ESPN's Pat McAfee had a great breakdown of the current situation shortly after the news broke. Citing sources, he reported that the situation was not about the NFLPA. Rather it stems from a deal allegedly being pitched by Fanatics to high-profile sophomore student athletes in college.

McAfee explains that Fanatics offers college sophomores a contract for a trading card deal that runs for four years — which is two years into an athlete's professional career. Harrison Jr. refused to sign the deal, resulting in a tiff between him and Fanatics. Harrison Jr. claims that his value/price as a rookie receiver in the NFL is worth more than a sophomore in college —and he's absolutely correct in that assessment.

Earlier this week, ESPN reported that Harrison Jr. actually does have a deal with Fanatics, which he signed before his last season a Ohio State. According to a source, Harrison's deal is worth more than $1 million and is for "autographs, signed trading cards, game-worn apparel and other marketing opportunities."

ESPN writes:

"However, Harrison is trying to renegotiate the deal for more money and is trying to use the fact that he has not yet signed the group licensing agreement as leverage, the source added."

So as it stands now, Marvin Harrison Jr. has not signed his NFLPA agreement. While many believe this will ultimately get settled and a new deal will be agreed upon, for now Harrison can not be part of a large number of marketing deals. And, unfortunately, he can not be in the Madden NFL video game.

EA has not yet announced Madden NFL 25, but the new game usually releases in August. It's possible that if a deal is agreed upon after the game's launch, EA could add him in via a roster update.