Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest Aaron Rodgers report from Jeremy Fowler.
Now that the NFL Draft is in the books, it’s on to Aaron Rodgers watch.
One could argue that’s been the case since the rumors started to fly last Thursday about an hour before the first day of the Draft started. While paying attention to what the Denver Broncos did, in the periphery they were keeping up on the latest with Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
But now that George Paton has put his first Draft as a general manager to bed, the NFL and sports world want to know: Will Rodgers become the next quarterback of the Broncos?
Before we get into the review of how we got here, just the mere rumors of Rodgers to Denver forced the sportsbooks to scramble.
The latest report from Dianna Russini with ESPN should get Broncos fans a little (a lot more) excited.
“The Denver Broncos continue to be the team I hear that are going to be the most interested (in Aaron Rodgers), and are going to put the most in front of the Green Bay Packers to try to make this trade go down.”
When you couple that with the report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Sunday, it certainly seems there is a lot of smoke for Rodgers to the Broncos.
As Fowler said on Sunday:
“The Packers are still actively looking for solutions here. They’re trying to keep an open line of communication with Aaron Rodgers and his agent, Dave Dunn. So, no traction in the short term. But many people around the league believe Aaron Rodgers is indeed ‘dug in,’ and there’s a belief by some that he wants to be out West. Denver is a team that’s buzzing in league circles. I was told by a source that Denver is ‘monitoring’ that situation right now. But they’re also coming out of the draft days, and they’re in the team-building mode. They really like Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, so they’re not committed or tied to anything. Talking to people around the league, they say about 60-40 they think that Rodgers is dealt.”
Aaron Rodgers rumors boost Broncos odds
Prior to the rumors, the Broncos betting odds were at least +6,000 to win the Super Bowl. Some of the sportsbooks in Colorado had the odds as high as +6,600.
The odds were just as dreary and steep for the AFC, AFC West and to even make the NFL playoffs.
For Denver’s season wins total, the over/under was at 7.5.
As of now, most of the Colorado sports betting apps have the Broncos as a Super Bowl betting favorite. The sportsbooks have the Denver in the top 10.
The same has happened for the AFC and AFC West odds. In fact, most of the sportsbooks have the Broncos in top five to win the AFC. The books have also given the Broncos better odds in the AFC West than both the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders.
As for Denver’s over/under wins, at DraftKings sportsbook app and the other books in Colorado, it is now at 8.5. The over is -150, while the under is +123.
One such bettor jumped on the +6,600 odds long before the Rodgers rumors. The man on Broncos Twitter known as Mile High Prophet said there’s some definite added excitement but he’s also happy to ride with Drew Lock.
“I view my world through orange colored glasses, and I always bet on my Broncos.”
Broncos favorites to get Rodgers
The sportsbooks are also offering markets on the quarterbacks to take a snap with a team. At the SportsBetting.com Colorado app, the market is for the Packers. The favorite is Lock at +300, followed by Derek Carr at +400, and Jordan Love at +500.
The market at DraftKings is the first team for Rodgers to play one snap for in the 2021-22 season. The sportsbook has the the Broncos at +140, after a high of +125 at one point. Green Bay is the favorite at -167.
Why are the Broncos a favorite?
One of the reasons is the talented roster Denver has. Yes, the Broncos went 5-11 last season, have had four-straight losing seasons and five seasons with now playoff berths. But the talent on the roster is undeniable.
Prior to the Draft, Pro Football Focus had Denver’s roster as the sixth-best in the NFL. That is behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Packers.
You add Rodgers to the Mile High City, and the team becomes an instant Super Bowl contender. In other words, Denver is a quarterback away.
From a betting on the Broncos perspective, how fun would those games with Chiefs become? Rodgers vs Patrick Mahomes two times a season? You best bet the over on those games. Holy smokes.
If a Rodgers move were to happen, it probably won’t occur until June. According to Rodgers’ contract at OvertheCap.com, if he were traded to Denver pre-June 1, the dead money is $31.6 million. If he’s traded after June 1, the dead money drops to $14.4 million.
Rodgers rumor mill heats up
What started all of this was a report from Adam Schefter on ESPN. It was around 1:15 p.m. MST on Thursday that Schefter was about to drop a bomb on ESPN. After what felt like a 30-minute commercial break, NFL Live returns and Schefter drops the bomb that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay.
As Schefter tweeted:
“Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team, league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.”
But Denver wasn’t mentioned, so it was back to paying attention to possible rookie quarterbacks Justin Fields and Trey Lance.
But then it happened.
ProFootballTalk reported that Rodgers’s wishlist included the Broncos and his two most likely destinations were between the Broncos and Raiders.
Whoa times two.
Rodgers pandemonium in Broncos Country
Then Dave Logan sent Broncos Country into pure pandemonium.
As Broncos Radio tweeted:
“Dave Logan just said on @KOAColorado a source told him Aaron Rodgers to @Broncos could happen tonight.”
Followed by former Denver offensive lineman and current NFL analyst/radio personality Mark Schlereth.
As Cecil Lammey tweeted:
“.@markschlereth on @1043TheFan NOW says #Broncos are not taking a QB in the #NFLDraft because they are close to trading for Aaron Rodgers per his sources. ‘As close to a done deal as it can be.’”
Then in a flash, Mike Klis threw cold water on excited and hopeful Broncos fans. Klis tweeted that “the Broncos and Packers haven’t had any talks and that the Broncos are moving forward with their draft plans.”
Could Rodgers to Denver still happen?
From that moment, just about everyone in the NFL betting world has wondered, “Well, has it happened yet?”
On Saturday the following tweets appeared to fuel the Rodgers-to-Denver hope hunger.
“Green Bay #Packers NFL Nation reporter @RobDemovsky told us on Dari and Mel on @ESPNRadio that he thinks there is a LESS THAN 5% CHANCE Aaron Rodgers plays a single down as a Packer in 2021.”
“If the Green Bay Packers used every single pick on a WR or OL, I don’t believe it would change Aaron Rodgers’ mind at this point in time.” – @AdamSchefter
“The #Broncos are a possible destination for Aaron Rodgers if the Packers trade him, which they say they won’t. Also, they didn’t take a QB on Thursday. Not unrelated.”
Now here we are, patiently waiting for that Rodgers news to drop.
Is it possible for Denver to get a third all-time great NFL quarterback?
If and when it does, the bettors who jumped on those Broncos odds before they were adjusted will be brimming ear to ear.
In the process, that Denver quarterback carousel will have finally been obliterated.