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How Aaron Rodgers' 2022 Team Affects NFL Futures Betting

Aaron Rodgers' future is yet again uncertain. Analyzing the future odds for teams that could be fits for the Packers' quarterback this upcoming season.

Aaron Rodgers is the reigning MVP.

Aaron Rodgers is thankful.

Aaron Rodgers is a lot of things.

Come the 2022 NFL season: Is he a Green Bay Packer?

The sportsbooks seem to believe so, with the Packers tied for the fifth-best odds (+1400) at SI Sportsbook to win the 2023 Super Bowl. Only the defending Super Bowl champion Rams (+900) have better odds in the NFC, while 49ers, the team that sent Green Bay home in the divisional round, has the same future odds.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with teammates after completing a touchdown pass making him the all time leader in touchdown passes in the first quarter during their football game Saturday, December 25, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Green Bay Packers center Lucas Patrick (62) Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Yosh Nijman (73) Gpg Packers Vs Browns 12252021 0002

Rodgers, a four-time MVP, is still a member of the organization that drafted him in 2005, though rumors about his future with the team have swirled since the surprise drafting of quarterback and heir apparent Jordan Love in the first round in 2020.

In an appearance Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers said “there will be no news today” regarding a decision on his future. The NFL community is waiting with bated breath for that decision, whenever it may come.

My colleague Andrew Brandt, who worked in the Packers' front office, wrote earlier this month “whether through trade or retirement, I continue to believe that the expiration date between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers is coming in the next month.”

Rodgers very well could become the third star quarterback in as many years to leave and take a new team to a Super Bowl victory in the same way Tom Brady did two seasons ago with the Buccaneers and Matthew Stafford with the Rams.

Of course, it would have been nice to have a futures bet on Tampa Bay or Los Angeles before each team made those quarterback upgrades and their odds dropped. So, which teams’ odds are worth taking a chance on based on the possibility alone that Rodgers would be suiting up for them next season? Taking into account cap room and current roster makeup, these are the four teams that present value.

Green Bay Packers (+1400)

2021 Record: 13-4
Key Offensive Players: WR Davante Adams (free agent), RB Aaron Jones, RB A.J. Dillon, WR Allen Lazard, OT David Bhaktiari
2022 Projected Cap Space: $-41 million (second-lowest)

Rodgers staying put would require Saints-level cap manipulation from Green Bay’s front office. The Packers employ some of the highest-paid players at their positions, and that’s without pending free agent Davante Adams’ massive contract on the books.

The structure of a Super Bowl team is there, though. Matt LaFleur is the winningest coach in NFL history in his first three seasons, coaching the Packers to 13 wins and two conference championship appearances before this season’s disappointing postseason exit. The biggest thing that needs to change is Green Bay’s abysmal special teams play, which reared its ugly head in the playoffs.

Continuity is the biggest case for Rodgers returning. The Last Dance didn’t end with a second-round loss, after all. Remember: The Packers entered the postseason with the best odds to win it all (+350). They fell well short, but think of the value proposition you’re getting in betting them at greater than +1000 odds. The NFC North is still a weak division and there’s rumors out west about the future of the Rams’ core players, and even coach. With Rodgers back, Green Bay is as serious a contender as any team.

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FILE - Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett seen during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Detroit. At right is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press early Thursday morning, Jan. 27, 2022, that the Denver Broncos are finalizing a deal to hire Packers offensive coordinator as their new head coach. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was still in the works and the team hadn't announced the hiring.

Denver Broncos (+2000)

2021 Record: 7-10
Key Offensive Players: WR Courtland Sutton, RB Javonte Williams, RB Melvin Gordon (free agent), TE Noah Fant, WR Jerry Jeudy
2022 Projected Cap Space: $39 million (fifth-most)

The Broncos are the non-Packers team Rodgers has been tied to the most—and that was before Denver hired Nathaniel Hackett, Rodgers’ offensive coordinator in Green Bay for the past three seasons, to be its next head coach.

There is no recent success for the Broncos to fall back on—they last made the playoffs in 2015 when they won the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. It’s been a revolving door of bad quarterback play ever since (and even during that season).

Denver might have the roster support Rodgers is in search of, though. The defense ranked top 10 in points and yards allowed this season, while the offense was in the bottom half of the league in scoring and yardage. There are several talented, young skill position players to entice Rodgers, including receivers Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick, running back Javonte Williams and tight end Noah Fant.

Sending Rodgers to the AFC might make the most sense for Green Bay. And football fans would be treated to twice-a-year battles between Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. His presence in Denver instantly elevates this team’s Super Bowl hopes and poses a serious threat to the Chiefs. The last time the Broncos brought in a future Hall of Fame signal caller in his late 30s, it led to two Super Bowl trips and one trophy. It could work again with Rodgers, who’s at the top of his game.

The possibility of the Broncos landing Rodgers (or one of the other quarterbacks expected to be on the move this offseason) is very clearly baked into these odds. Teddy Bridgewater and/or Drew Lock at quarterback doesn't warrant having the same odds as the Ravens. But if Rodgers and Hackett reunite, those odds will be slashed and the AFC West race will become even more intriguing.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2000)

2021 Record: 13-4
Key Offensive Players: WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin (free agent), RB Leonard Fournette (free agent), OT Tristan Wirfs, OG Ali Marpet
2022 Projected Cap Space: $7 million (22nd-most)

Follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps? Maybe. Tampa Bay has a Super Bowl-ready roster, sans the quarterback who retired this offseason. The window to win can be pried open for a little longer with a splash move like, say, trading for the MVP.

The Buccaneers sure did a lot to protect Brady with a stellar offensive line anchored by tackle Tristan Wirfs and guard Ali Marpett. The same would go for Rodgers, who is getting along in age. Star receiver Mike Evans is certainly a draw, though hanging on to free agent Chris Godwin, who was franchise tagged last season, may prove difficult. As Tampa Bay showed this season, though, players are inclined to stick around (and maybe take a pay cut) when a Super Bowl is such a realistic prospect.

Does Green Bay really send Rodgers to the team that beat it two seasons ago at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game? Maybe for the right price. The reason the Bucs’ odds are what they are is because of the prospect of a star quarterback finding their way to Tampa Bay this offseason to team up with Bruce Arians.

The rest of the roster is there—this team lost to the eventual champions on a last-second field goal. Rodgers might be the missing piece.

Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talk during warmups prior to the game at Lambeau Field.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+5000)

2021 Record: 9-7-1
Key Offensive Players: WR Diontae Johnson, WR Chase Claypool, RB Najee Harris, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, TE Pat Freiermuth
2022 Projected Cap Space: $25 million (11th-most)

Rodgers and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin shared a viral moment when their teams battled in Week 4. Rodgers revealed that to just be a sort of mutual respect between the two of them after he tried to catch Pittsburgh’s defense with 12 men on the field, but it invited speculation about them potentially teaming up.

Longtime Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retired after his team was eliminated from the playoffs by the Chiefs. Rodgers stepping in for Roethlisberger, whom he defeated in the 2011 Super Bowl, would be a welcome marriage for both parties. Pittsburgh has standout defensive players like reigning DPOY TJ Watt, Cam Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick and a young core of offensive talent with receiver Diontae Johnson and first-round running back Najee Harris.

Rodgers could also pair well with Chase Claypool, a tall, deep-threat who was not a great complement to the quick, short-throwing Roethlisberger late in his career.

The Steelers’ potential pitch does not include a soundly constructed offensive line to keep Rodgers upright. And the AFC North is always competitive (every team won at least eight games this season). This is more of a long shot than the other prospects, and Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl odds certainly reflect that. Either Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins is currently projected to start for this team.

It's difficult to overstate how big of an upgrade Rodgers would be from those two and from Roethlisberger, who's headed to the Hall of Fame. If Rodgers heads to Pittsburgh, grabbing the Steelers at these odds is, well, a steal.

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