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Odds Favor Deshaun Watson Being Patriots’ Starting QB in 2021, Trevor Lawrence Listed at +500

John Perrotto

by John Perrotto in NFL Football

Updated Apr 21, 2020 · 10:25 AM PDT

Deshaun Watson in the pocket
Deshaun Watson is the favorite to be the New England Patriots starter in 2021. Photo from Keith Allison (Wiki Commons)
  • Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson is favored to be the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback for the 2021 NFL season
  • Jarrett Stidham is currently atop the Patriots’ depth chart following the departure of Tom Brady, with Cody Kessler the only other QB on Bill Belichick’s roster
  • See the full odds board for this fascinating prop below 

Who will be the New England Patriots’ quarterback next season now that Tom Brady has become a free agent? Former Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham is the heir apparent currently on the Pats roster, with just Cody Kessler set to back him up barring any other roster moves.

The big question for oddsmakers is who will run the Pats offense in 2021? With the recent big-name departures we’ve seen out of the Houston Texans organization, could it be a former Clemson Tiger?

Patriots’ Starting QB Odds for Week 1 of 2021 Season

Player Odds
Deshaun Watson +300
Trevor Lawrence +500
Jarrett Stidham +500
Kyle Trask +700
Dak Prescott +900
Jacoby Brissett +1100
Derek Carr +1200
Andy Dalton +1200
Taysom Hill +1200
Cam Newton +1200
Matthew Stafford +1200
Mac Jones +1600
Ryan Fitzpatrick +2000
Sam Ehlinger +2500
JT Daniels +3300
Brian Hoyer +3300
Aaron Rodgers +5000
Patrick Mahomes +10000

Odds taken March 19

Toxic Texans’ Culture?

Watson’s contract with the Houston Texans expires after next season. It seems plausible he could look to leave Houston following this week’s stunning trade of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.

Like many others around the NFL, Watson was clearly shocked by the trade of one of the league’s premier receiving threats.

Will the trade eventually push Watson to leave? It’s hard to say for certain with free agency still more than a year away.

However, a picture of a toxic culture with the Texans under coach Bill O’Brien is starting to develop.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin said in an interview with ESPN that O’Brien compared Hopkins to late Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. That remark reportedly came during a recent meeting between O’Brien and Hopkins.

Former Texans wide receiver Jaelen Strong claims O’Brien ruined his career.

If this is indeed the atmosphere in Houston, it is easy to envision Watson running for the door at the first opportunity.

Stidham Tops Depth Chart

What happens with the Patriots in 2020 will go a long way in determining what they do at quarterback in 2021.

Jarrett Stidham is currently the starter by default on their roster, and it is not out of the question that coach Bill Belichick will roll with him. However, it would be risky as the Patriots’ fourth-round draft pick last year has thrown just four regular season passes.

Veteran options such as Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, and Jameis Winston feel like one-season stopgaps.

The Patriots could also move to re-acquire Jacoby Brissett, who has become expendable with the Indianapolis Colts following their signing of Philip Rivers in free agency. Brissett’s career record as a starter is just 12-20.

If the Patriots want to get creative, they could sign XFL breakout star P.J. Walker. The Temple product spent two seasons on the Colts’ practice squad but has never appeared in an NFL game.

It seems doubtful the Patriots will find a surefire quarterback of the future in this year’s draft.

Holding the 23rd pick, New England might be to draft Utah State’s Jordan Love, Washington’s Jacob Eason or Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. All come with question marks, though. Thus, it seems likely the Patriots will be looking for a quarterback again in 2021.

Could Pats Tank?

It seems inconceivable that the Patriots would consider tanking in 2020. They have won an NFL-record 11 straight division titles as well as 16 of the last 17 AFC East crowns.

However, the prize for tanking and getting the first pick in the 2021 draft would most likely be current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Lawrence has led the Tigers to berths in the CFP championship game in each of his two seasons, including winning the title in 2018.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder is clearly a winner and could quickly bring the Patriots back to prominence if they do punt on next season.

Watson seems like the best fit but doesn’t offer value as the favorite. If you’re looking to place on a longshot, take a chance on Brissett, a player with whom Belichick and the Patriots have familiarity.

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