Hmm, perhaps the Madden Curse is racist? Every cover boy has been a black guy. They should put, like, Manning on the cover next year to see what happens (full disclosure: I hate the Colts).
Apparently a story has broken that Tomlinson was offered the cover, but turned it down. Chargers fans everywhere exhalt!
"Nielsen has always trafficked in the zany. When guys like Steve Vai were rocking double- and triple-necked guitars, Nielsen blazed his own trail with a guitar with so many necks that its very existence mocked the Lord." -- Cracked.com
I'm sure they're deathly afraid to put a "Golden Boy" type player like Brady or Manning on the cover, because I can't imagine with the way the 'curse' always seems to play itself out, that the NFL would appreciate already-storied careers like those of Manning and Brady to be sidetracked....
Calvin makes a good point and also leads to another. The threat of the passing game is there, with Garcia, Owens, Stokes and the RB's out of the backfield. That, of course, leads to better oppotunities for the running game.