The Broncos didn’t select a quarterback during the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite being on the clock at No. 9 with Justin Fields and Mac Jones on the board, the team opted to go with cornerback Patrick Surtain II with its first selection. After that, the team chose not to add another quarterback to the fray, ensuring that either Drew Lock or the newly acquired Teddy Bridgewater would be the starter during the ’21 season.
So, why would the Broncos’ Super Bowl betting odds improve so much in the wake of the draft without the team making a massive upgrade at the quarterback spot?
According to The Denver Post, the Broncos went from having the 24th-best odds to win the Super Bowl at +6,600 (a $100 bet nets $6,600) to the ninth-best chance to take home a title at +2,200. Those odds are similar to what some other books have moved their Broncos odds to as well.
- William Hill: +2,000
- FanDuel: +2,400
- DraftKings: +2,500
Though the Broncos did have a strong draft class, that alone would not improve their odds to win a title by that much. That’s the type of move that is usually seen when a team significantly upgrades its quarterback spot. As such, it stands to reason that the Broncos could still have a move up their sleeve at QB. And it could be attempting to trade for the reigning NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers.
The Broncos were rumored to be one of Rodgers’ three preferred trade destinations when rumors first emerged that he wanted out of Green Bay. The Packers have maintained that they don’t want to trade their franchise quarterback, but they do have Jordan Love waiting in the wings. So, if Rodgers forces their hand, or if the team has a change of heart, they could opt to move him for the right price.
Denver may well be a team that’s willing to make a trade like that. John Elway had success bringing in another veteran quarterback to run his team when Peyton Manning joined the Broncos after his release from the Colts. Manning had a historic regular season in 2013 and helped lead the Broncos to a title in Super Bowl 50.
The Broncos, now led by GM George Paton, may see Rodgers as a Manning-like upgrade who could get them back to the Super Bowl, or at least make them a big-time AFC contender. Paton himself is very familiar with Rodgers, having been a part of the Vikings’ front office from 2007 to 2020, so he knows firsthand how dominant the Green Bay QB can be.
The value of having a top-shelf QB in the AFC West can’t be overstated. The division houses Patrick Mahomes, the NFL’s best quarterback, and Justin Herbert, who broke records as a rookie with the Chargers last year. For the Broncos, having a strong roster but lackluster quarterback play probably won’t get the job done. But having Rodgers around to help the Broncos try to outduel the Chiefs and Chargers twice a year? That could certainly work.
There’s no denying that Rodgers would be a good fit in Denver, and of all the teams on Rodgers’ preferred trade list, they are probably the one that would be most likely to shell out the resources required to land the 37-year-old star.
Again, nothing is definite, but sportsbooks obviously think there’s a chance that Rodgers could land with the Broncos this offseason. If he does, there’s no doubt that the Broncos will be Super Bowl contenders, and these +2,000-+2,500 odds will look like a bargain.
If the Broncos don’t land Rodgers, however, the lines will probably drop closer to the +5,000-+6,600 range they were in before the draft.