A buddy of mine works for Gamefly and he said that there is almost no way that they don't renew their deal with the NFL, but apparently the NFL is also taking into consideration how much money they'd make if they allowed for 2K to have a deal with the NFL as well. So, it's not set in stone and it may be another year or two before EA is able toget another exclusive rights deal.
I will say though that as I am playing, the ratings almost don't even matter so much because of the game play. I started a franchise and when you play well you get XP (experience points), which you can use to bump up the stats of that player periodically throughout the season. So, for example, if Ray Rice's speed rating I think is a 91 or 92 and you have a couple of good games with him you could probably bump it up to a 93 or 94 by the end of the season. Frankly, I like that because it adds another element of trying to put your young players out there and get them involved in game plans and experience. I thought they rated KO extremely low.
This is one feature I do like. I hope 2K does get another shot, I'd like to see what they can bring, because their NBA is crazy.