No Brady: What are Latest AFC East Odds?
Now that Tom Brady is expected to sign with the Tampa Bay Bucs, how will his absence impact the teams in the AFC East, the division he spent the past 20 seasons terrorizing?
New England Patriots
After 20 seasons, the Patriots will be searching for a new quarterback now that Brady is expected to sign with the Bucs as a free agent. Following the Chiefs’ come-from-behind victory over the 49ers in the 2020 Super Bowl, the Patriots opened with 10/1 odds to win the 2021 NFL title game, but according to oddsmakers from online sportsbook Sportsbook.com, New England now has 30/1 odds. The Pats’ chances to win the AFC title were also impacted with Brady’s decision to leave Foxborough, as New England went from 6/1 to win the conference, down to 15/1. While the Pats have plenty of time to figure out next steps, Jarrett Stidham could be the favorite to replace Brady for the 2021 season. Stidham was a fourth-round selection a year ago for the Pats.
With Brady gone, the team that many believe will benefit most is the Bills, who move from 40/1 to 30/1 to win Super Bowl 2021. Buffalo reached the postseason a year ago after giving New England a run for its money for the AFC East Division title, but eventually blew a sizable lead versus the Texans on Wild Card Weekend. The Bills also traded for former Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs, who now offers Josh Allen a legitimate No. 1 receiver to pair with quality weapons in Cole Beasley and John Brown. The Bills defense was also stout in 2019, although Buffalo will also play a much tougher schedule after finishing second in the division a season ago.
New York Jets
Unlike New England and Buffalo, the Jets were not impacted by Brady’s decision to leave the Patriots and sign with the Bucs. The Jets opened with 75/1 odds to win the Super Bowl and following Brady’s departure from the AFC East, New York is still 75/1. That said, the Jets have been making moves this week. They signed center/guard Connor McGovern, formerly of the Broncos, to a three-year, $27 million contract and re-signed left guard Alex Lewis to a three-year, $18.6 million deal. Their offensive line remake started by signing offensive tackle George Fant, formerly of the Seahawks, to a three-year, $30 million contract. With a lot more protection for Sam Darnold, perhaps the Jets could make strides over the next year to close the gap between themselves and the Patriots and Bills.
Much like the Jets, the Dolphins weren’t overly impacted by Brady hopping to the NFC. Miami opened with 125/1 odds to win the 2021 Super Bowl and the Dolphins are now 100/1. Their odds could change even more following the 2020 NFL Draft, where the Dolphins will have two first-round selections. One of those picks is expected to be used on a quarterback, perhaps even former Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa, who could be available for the Dolphins at No. 5. Much like the Jets, the Dolphins have been active at the start of free agency, signing former Cowboys defensive back Byron Jones to a five-year, $82.5 million contract and handing former Patriots outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy a four-year, $51 million deal.