People in NFL circles planned to talk about Trevor Lawrence.
The franchise-altering QB from Clemson stayed at No. 1 on Jacksonville’s NFL Draft board, but he quickly became a secondary topic before last week’s draft.
Aaron Rodgers wants to leave Green Bay, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter and others.
Just hours before the first draft pick, Schefter tweeted:
“Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team, league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.”
You can’t place wagers on his destination, but DraftKings odds say the likeliness of Rodgers remaining a Packer is at -125.
If he leaves, Denver is the most likely choice at +200. The Raiders (+500), Saints (+900) and Panthers (+900) follow the Broncos as of Wednesday.
Teams with promising young quarterbacks or established stars of their own have the longest odds, according to DraftKings Nation.
DraftKings on Rodgers rumors
Johnny Avello, the director of racing and sports at DraftKings, said odds are drifting toward a Rodgers-Packers reconciliation in 2021:
“Sticking around in Green Bay was the favorite — it was -110. Going to Denver was +140. And the Raiders were 6- or 7-to-1. But now, Green Bay is -150. So the bettors think that’s where he’s going to stick.
“I wouldn’t disagree with that. It’s just that a lot times when there’s smoke, there’s fire, you know? There’s something to Aaron Rodgers here, whether he’s not happy there or wants to be traded. Green Bay is the favorite … but, you know, there’s always a chance that he will move and that news will come quickly.”
The Packers were a big favorite to win the NFC North. Now, Avello says the Vikings have closed the gap a bit.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the division odds are:
- Packers: -115
- Vikings: +250
- Bears: +325
- Lions: +2000
While Rodgers rumors caused a shift in the numbers, Avello said sportsbooks will wait on the quarterback’s status to make major changes.
“We just made some minor adjustments until we actually see where he’s going to end up landing.”
Chiefs bettors on Rodgers watch, too
If the Packers export their “disgruntled” quarterback, Patrick Mahomes may have divisional duels from his fellow State Farm pitchman.
As Avello mentioned, the Broncos and Raiders could be landing spots. Both teams have cap room and a less certain situation at quarterback.
Avello said a Rodgers move to the AFC West would have an impact, but:
“They’ve competed against the best and not a whole lot’s going to change in their odds. They’re still 260-to-1 (to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl). I call it 5-to-2 to win the AFC. To win a Super Bowl, they’re a little over 5-to-1. That hasn’t changed much.
“In the division, they’re they’re still a 1-to-3 favorites, with the Broncos second at 5-to-1; Chargers 6-to-1 and Raiders 16-to-1. Now, the Raiders at 16-to-1 would change if Rodgers did go there.”
Avello is more skeptical of the Raiders as a destination, however:
“Even though we have them as them as a third choice, (Marcus) Mariota signed a contract and (David) Carr still there. So I don’t think the Raiders are interested. Could they be interested? I guess anybody could be interested in Rodgers, if that feels right. But I don’t think Raiders is the place he’s going.”
Avello also said the Broncos had a shot at one of the top quarterbacks with the No. 9 pick of the NFL Draft. Ohio State QB Justin Fields and Alabama QB Mac Jones were still on the board, but the Broncos passed.
“That kind of told us something that they may be working on some sort of player that could make an impact for the team. I find it kind of strange as they were talking quarterback and never did pick a quarterback.”
When MVP quarterbacks move, so do futures odds
The DraftKings director only has to go back a year to remember the last time an MVP quarterback changed teams — and the NFL betting futures of a whole league.
Tom Brady’s contract was up in 2020, so he didn’t need a trade to facilitate his move from New England to Tampa Bay.
“Look what happened. They won the Super Bowl. Quarterback is the most important position in the in the NFL and in a good one is hard to find — a hall-of-famer is really, really hard to find.”