NFL quarterbacks: Vegas odds look at Drew Brees, other veterans who could play elsewhere in 2021

By Vincent Frank
Nov 22, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) talk after their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

NFL quarterbacks run the league in this modern pass-first era. We know that full well given just how dominant reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes has been.

With that said, there’s numerous veteran quarterbacks who could change teams or outright retire following the 2020 season. Sports Betting took a look at this and gave some Vegas odds relating to NFL quarterbacks who could move on from their current teams in the offseason. It starts with Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.

Note: Odds indicate likelihood that quarterback will not play with same team in 2021.

NFL quarterbacks: Odds veterans could play elsewhere in 2021

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (-750)

NFL quarterbacks: Drew Brees could be gone in 2021.
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) signals a touchdown in the fourth quarter after running back Alvin Kamara (41) scored his sixth touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, it’s not yet known what Brees has planned for his future as the soon-to-be 42-year-old finishes up shop on his 20th season as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all-time. What we do know is that the future Hall of Famer and all-time passing leader has regressed over the past two seasons. That same span has seen Brees deal with numerous injuries.

Related: Options to be Saints QB in 2021

It’s highly unlikely Brees will play for another team. Rather, he could very well retire. Vegas odds have that at an 88.2% certainty right now. If so, the Saints will be forced to choose from Taysom Hill, Jameis Winston or an outside option to solve their quarterback issues. For his part, Winston has been linked to another team as he’s set to hit free agency.

Related: Top NFL quarterbacks right now

Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (+110)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback: 5 best options to replace Philip Rivers in 2021
Dec 27, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; ndianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no reason to believe this 39-year-old borderline future Hall of Famer is going to move on from the Colts after just one season. Sure Rivers is slated to become a free agent. But his commitment to Indianapolis after spending his first 16 years as an NFL quarterback with the Chargers was for more than one year if things worked out between the two sides.

They have. Rivers has thrown for north of 4,000 yards with 23 touchdowns against 10 interceptions en route to leading Indianapolis to a 10-5 record. The only way I envision Rivers leaving the Colts is if head coach Frank Reich targets former pupil Carson Wentz in a trade. As of now, it’s a 60% chance Rivers stays with the horseshoe.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (-200)

Will Matthew Stafford remain an NFL quarterback with the Lions?
Dec 20, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Teair Tart (93) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This one is a bit surprising. Recent reports suggest that the Lions are going to look to move off Stafford after a dozen seasons. It makes sense in that Detroit is going into full-scale rebuild mode. Set to enter his Age-33 season, there’s no reason to believe Stafford will want to take part in said rebuild.

Related: Matthew Stafford trade scenarios

From an on-field perspective, the former No. 1 overall pick is still one of the top-15 NFL quarterbacks today. Despite some injury issues over the past couple seasons, Stafford is still performing at a high clip. Thus far this year, the former Georgia standout has put up 3,791 yards with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Vegas odds project that Stafford has a 66.7% chance of remaining in Detroit.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (-500)

Where is Falcons' Matt Ryan in out latest QB rankings?
Oct 5, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons owner Arthur Blank made it clear earlier this season that the Falcons’ new head coach and general manager will decide on Matt Ryan’s future with the team. This came after head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were fired following a disastrous start to the 2020 campaign.

Related: Matt Ryan trade scenarios

A lot of this will depend on whether the Falcons believe they should enter full-scale rebuild mode or retool on the fly. At 35 years old, Ryan will not want to take part in the latter. He’s also still one of the top-10 NFL quarterbacks today. The former MVP has thrown for 4,316 yards with 24 touchdowns against 11 interceptions this season. It’s certainly not his fault that the four-win Falcons are yielding an average of 25 points per game. As it stands, current Vegas odds have Ryan with an 88.3% chance of remaining in Atlanta for a 14th season.

Alex Smith, Washington Football Team (-200)

Alex Smith is a starter among the most-winning NFL quarterbacks
Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) walks along the sideline against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s decision to release 2019 first-round bust Dwayne Haskins after on-field struggles and off-field immaturity surely increased the chances Smith returns to the nation’s capital in 2021. As of right now, there’s really no other good options for Washington. Nearing a division title, Washington won’t be in position to select a franchise quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Related: Top Washington QB options for 2021

Smith is 10-5 as Washington’s starter since joining the team back in 2018. All other quarterbacks in D.C. boast a 6-26 record as starters. That has to account for something. It’s also why Vegas odds have him with a 66.7% chance of remaining with Washington.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets (-180)

Jets' Sam Darnold during game against the Broncos
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws the ball during warmups before facing the Denver Broncos in a NFL game at MetLife Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in East Rutherford. Nfl Jets Broncos

The Jets’ ability to actually lose out on Trevor Lawrence after an 0-13 start to the 2020 season could potentially set this team back over the long-term. Now locked in to the No. 2 spot after winning two consecutive, it could also lead to this former No. 3 overall pick remaining in Jersey.

Related: Sam Darnold trade scenarios

To say that soon-to-be fired head coach Adam Gase has botched the Darnold situation would be an understatement. Now that New York is going to miss out on Lawrence, general manager Joe Douglas might give the Jets’ current signal caller another opportunity to prove himself with a fresh coaching staff. After all, what are the other options here? Perhaps, Sam Darnold finally becomes one of the better young NFL quarterbacks without Gase in the mix.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (-200)

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo is not among the top-20 NFL quarterbacks
Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Is Garoppolo a starter-caliber NFL quarterback? The jury certainly remains out on that. Sure the 29-year-old signal caller led San Francisco to a surprising Super Bowl appearance last season. However, two of his three full seasons with the 49ers have been marred by injury. He’s also failed to live up to expectations after being acquired from the Patriots midway through the 2017 season.

Related: Jimmy Garoppolo trade scenarios

With that said, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan pretty much just recently indicated that Garoppolo will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback next season. Whether that represents PR spin remains to be seen. What we do know is that Vegas odds favor him remaining in San Francisco with a 66.7% chance Garoppolo is the 49ers’ Week 1 starter in 2021.

Cam Newton, New England Patriots (-300)

Patriots Bill Belichick throws phone
Dec 28, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks with quarterback Cam Newton (1) on the sideline as they take on the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not happening for this former MVP. Cam Newton is no longer a starter-caliber NFL quarterback. In fact, there’s a chance he won’t be rostered at all next season. The downward spiral here has been eye-opening, culminating in Newton being benched during the Patriots’ blowout Week 16 loss to the Bills after tallying 15 net passing yards on 10 attempts.

Related: Patriots QB options for 2021

All said, Newton has thrown five touchdowns against 10 interceptions in 14 starts this season. That’s impressively bad. It’s also led to widespread speculation that the Patriots will move off him after just one season. Vegas odds currently have it at an 83.3% certainty he will be playing for another team next season.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (-140)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback 2021: Carson Wentz
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) reacts prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Another pretty big surprise. Wentz did not look like an NFL quarterback through the first 13 weeks of the 2020 season before being benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. He is still tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15 despite having sat each of the past three weeks.

Related: Carson Wentz trade scenarios

Rumors suggest that Wentz will want out of Philadelphia should the team stick with Hurts as its starting quarterback in 2021. It makes sense. He has a proven track record of success. As for Hurts, he has done absolutely nothing to give the job back to the former No. 2 pick. Despite this, Vegas odds have Wentz with a 58.3% chance of being the Eagles’ Week 1 starter in 2021. We shall see.