Former No. 2 Pick Is the Favorite to Be Patriots’ Week 1 Starter in 2021

Getty Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are reportedly checking into all options as it pertains to addressing the QB position.

It appears all options are open, and with such a wild field, it’s interesting to check in on what oddsmakers are saying on the subject.

When it comes to sports personnel decisions, you have to take betting odds with a grain of salt. That said, according to, Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterback Marcus Mariota is the favorite to be the Patriots’ Week 1 starter in 2021. According to the oddsmakers on the site, Mariota is listed as a +250 favorite to be the man Bill Belichick chooses to lead what he hopes will be a return to the postseason.

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The Odds and Candidates

Here is a list of the odds and candidates the oddsmakers list.

  • Marcus Mariota+250
  • Jacoby Brissett+350
  • Jarrett Stidham+400
  • Cam Newton+500
  • Rookie Quarterback+500
  • Blaine Gabbert+700
  • Andy Dalton+800
  • Deshaun Watson+1000
  • Brian Hoyer+1200
  • Joe Flacco+1500
  • Mike Glennon+1500
  • Jimmy Garoppolo+1500
  • Blake Bortles+2000
  • Colt McCoy+2000
  • Tyrod Taylor+2000
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick+2000
  • Sam Darnold+2500
  • Geno Smith+2500
  • Robert Griffin III+2500
  • Matt Barkley+3000
  • Mitchell Trubisky+4000
  • Jake Dolegala+4000
  • Dak Prescott+5000
  • Jameis Winston+5000
  • Ben Roethlisberger+6000
  • Matt Ryan+7000

There are several exciting names on this list, including four former Heisman Trophy winners, two No. 1 overall picks, four No. 2 picks, two former league MVPs, future Hall-of-Famers, a 25-year-old franchise QB, a practice squader, and an unnamed rookie signal-caller.

The latter is interesting because it’s open to discussion. The Patriots have the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some expect New England to be in on Alabama’s Mac Jones at that spot. However, there is a chance Jones won’t be on the board when the Patriots are on the clock.

Would New England be open to trading up to get Jones or perhaps one of the other top prospects at the position, such as Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance?

It would be strange for New England to draft a quarterback and throw him to the wolves in 2021. While the Patriots might select one of these guys, they would likely add a bridge quarterback to keep the team competitive until the rookie is ready to take over.

Why Mariota is No. 1?

Increasingly, we’ve been hearing that Mariota might be the most practical option for the Patriots. In fact, ESPN’s Mike Reiss called him perhaps the “most realistic option.” Reiss also said there was a chance the Patriots could sign Mariota and bring back Cam Newton for what would be an epic quarterback competition. Newton’s odds to return are at +500, but Mariota comes through as more practical to some because he offers the dual-threat component that it appears New England desires.

Mariota is four years younger than Newton, doesn’t have as many injury concerns, and some would argue his recent tape is more impressive than the 2015 NFL MVP.

While former Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett has the second-best odds, Mariota would seemingly offer a higher ceiling. NFL free agency begins on March 17, but we should start to see some dominoes fall in the next week or so.

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