I did find it odd that EA was using their own terminology instead of outright using Smart Delivery. Turns out if you want to get Madden for a “free upgrade” on Xbox Series X, you actually need to buy the game BEFORE Dec 31st and update it/own on a Xbox Series X before March to get the upgrade free. So if you buy the game in January, you will have to rebuy the game if you want it to take advantage of Xbox Series X features.
It also sounds like all EA games will have a similar “upgrade” timeline. So when you buy a game by EA, you will only have a few months to buy and upgrade it before they force you to rebuy the game for the next generation consoles.