Odds Favor Garoppolo, Lock, and Bridgewater All Starting for Respective Teams in 2021 – Are Any Worth Betting Against?

Bridgewater

Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater warms up before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
  • Quarterbacks Drew Lock, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Teddy Bridgewater all face an uncertain offseason following disappointing campaigns in 2020
  • Lock has seen his odds of remaining the starter in Denver diminish, while Bridgewater is pegged as the best bet to not be Carolina’s starter for Week 1 of next season
  • We’ve got you covered with all the odds as the NFL offseason speculation heats up

The NFL offseason is here, and along with it, plenty of speculation about what big names will be on the move. Here is a look at what could be in store for three quarterbacks who enjoy little job security after enduring a disappointing 2020 campaign.

Odds to Be Team’s Starting QB in Week 1

Quarterback Team Yes Odds No Odds
Drew Lock Denver Broncos -180 +145
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers -375 +260
Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers -135 +105

Odds taken on February 24, 2021

Lock on the Bubble in Denver

After closing out the 2019 campaign by leading Denver to four wins in five December appearances, Drew Lock stumbled out of the gate in 2020. Lock was sidelined for three games by a shoulder injury suffered in Week 2. He struggled to regain his form, tossing just one TD pass over his first four appearances.

The 24-year-old finished the schedule at the bottom of the NFL stats with a league-worst 15 interceptions. He also ranked dead last with a 57.3 completion percentage. A steady run of injuries in Denver did nothing to boost his cause. But with a growing number of pivots expected to come available this spring, the Broncos cannot be blamed for considering all options.

It is unlikely Denver will walk away from their promising young pivot. Lock still has two seasons remaining on his rookie contract. That includes a cap hit of just $1.912 million for next season. And, if Lock is to lose his job, it is likely to be to an established passer.

Deshaun Watson’s name has been mentioned as a potential upgrade in Denver. Watson has made it clear his days in Houston are done, fueling an already active offseason rumor mill. The addition of Watson would certainly accelerate the Broncos’ efforts to return to contention. But the anticipated cost to pry Watson away from the Texans via trade is likely unappealing for a Denver squad that has already endured four straight losing seasons.

There will be no shortage of options under center coming available via free agency next month. The list will range from Mitch Trubisky to Andy Dalton to Jameis Winston. That has been a factor in the dip in the odds of Lock opening next season as the starter in Denver, from -300 to -180. Look for the Broncos to focus on picking up a capable veteran backup who can push and mentor Lock. This adds value to the -180 odds of him starting in Week 1.

The Pick: Yes (-180)

Super Bowl 56 Odds Tracker

Can Jimmy G Rebound Following Another Injury-Laden Season

After carrying the San Francisco 49ers to a berth in Super Bowl 54, Jimmy Garoppolo opened this past season amid high expectations. Fate had other plans, with Jimmy G seeing his season cut short by an ankle injury in Week 6. That marked the second time in three seasons that Garoppolo has spent extended time in the clinic, after appearing in just three games in 2018.

However, it is tough to fault Garoppolo for the Niners’ lost season. Racked by injuries up and down the lineup, San Francisco struggled to field a complete starting lineup all season long.

Two years remain on Garoppolo’s contract, which was the richest contract in NFL history at signing. However, parting ways with Garoppolo would only saddle San Francisco with $2.8 million in dead cap. With the 49ers currently set to pick 12th in this spring’s NFL Draft, the team has the option to pursue a talented rookie passer.

However, with a number of key 49ers players set to hit free agency, the Niners could find themselves scrambling to fill multiple holes. This would most notably be on the offensive line and the defensive secondary. And with general manager John Lynch publicly stating this week his expectation to see Jimmy G back next season, there is little value in the lengthy odds of him finding a new home anytime soon.

The Pick: Yes (-375)

Bridgewater One and Out in Carolina?

What started as an opportunity to reclaim his place as an NFL starter, quickly descended into a lost season for Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater revived his career with a sterling performance as Drew Brees’ backup in New Orleans in 2019. He then inked a three-year deal with the Carolina Panthers last year, filling the void left by Cam Newton’s departure.

Bridgewater connected on 15 scoring passes and a career-high 3,733 passing yards. He also recorded five TD runs but managed to lead the Panthers to just five victories in 15 appearances. With Carolina now set to blow things up, it is tough to see the 28-year-old having a role there moving forward. It has been no secret that the Panthers would love to pursue Deshaun Watson. Some reports suggest the team is prepared to offer a package that includes Christian McCaffrey and multiple top picks.

The challenge for the Panthers will be disposing of Bridgewater’s contract. The team would be faced with a massive $20 million of dead cap should they walk away from their veteran passer. That makes a trade more likely. Bridgewater remains a valuable commodity. Particularly in a similar role to the one he enjoyed in New Orleans. The $17 million in salary he is owed next season may represent a stumbling block to potential suitors. So don’t be surprised to see the Panthers do what is necessary to make room for Watson.

The Pick: No (+105)

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