Adam Schefter, the NFL’s preeminent reporter, tweeted back on Jan. 25 that the 2021 off-season is expected to be “unprecedented” in terms of QB movement. Schefter added, “my Over/Under of teams changing QBs this off-season is 18. I’ll go with the Over.”
We’re not even out of February yet and free agency is three weeks away. The 2021 NFL Draft won’t go down until late April.
Yet we’ve already seen big-name signal-callers on the move.
The Rams traded for Matthew Stafford in late January and the Colts just landed Carson Wentz from Philadelphia.
As for the two biggest names mentioned in trade rumors early in this NFL off-season, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, there are new nuggets of information popping up every day regarding the potential of some all-time blockbuster swaps. Select US sportsbooks have “Next Snap” markets on individual players for where they will be playing when the 2021 season kicks off a little over six months from now.
Deshaun Watson ‘Next Snap’ odds
The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers have the lowest odds when it comes to the potential completion of a Watson trade. Denver has consistently been mentioned as a suitor for the former Clemson star’s services, and Carolina has been clearing cap space like mad – likely in an effort to make a hard push for Watson.
“While there is a decent chance Watson stays put, his destination market has been more popular than Wilson’s as bettors seem to believe it’s less likely the Seahawks deal him,” PointsBet Director of Communications Patrick Eichner told TheLines this week. “On Watson, bettors (at PointsBet) are thinking either the Bears, Broncos, Panthers or Jets.”
Russell Wilson ‘Next Snap’ odds
The Las Vegas Raiders are looking for an upgrade at the QB position this off-season and are the favorites to make a trade for Wilson.
“Wilson would move the needle a little more than Watson,” Eicher said. “But whenever a major QB like that is moved you’ll see some big swings in team futures. We just saw it with the Rams getting Stafford.”
Prior to the Stafford trade, the Rams were +2000 to win the 2021-22 Super Bowl. Immediately after the swap, LA was +1400 and Eichner says that the Rams are PointsBet’s biggest Super Bowl futures liability.
It’s great to anticipate
The dealings of Stafford and Wentz earlier this off-season were much more anticipated by NFL insiders and bettors than are the potential trades of Watson or Wilson.
Eichner told TheLines this week that Wentz “Next Team odds” had the most action of any individual player transaction market at PointsBet as “there were likely only two destinations – Indianapolis and Chicago.”
It is more likely than not that Watson and Wilson stay put with their current teams. The Texans and Seahawks surely know that having an elite QB on the roster is half the battle in the NFL. If you already have a top shelf quarterback, it typically makes little sense to roll the dice and look for another one even if the trade haul you get in return is massive. Both teams would have to be blown away to consider a move.
That said, the trade rumors – particularly when it comes to Watson – have not stopped. And none of the teams at the top of these Next Snap odds boards have resolved their quarterback situations yet.
A lot can happen – and a lot more rumors will be floated – between now, the start of free agency, and the Draft. So if you anticipate a trade actually happening, or even if you think Watson will stay put (+250 at FanDuel), it could be advantageous to make a wager now on these odds or in the Super Bowl futures market for the team you like to make a move.
“Watson and Wilson are arguably two top 5 players at one of the most important positions in football,” said BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee. “Any move they’re involved in will likely result in decent sized odds moves in Super Bowl pricing.”