The New England Patriots re-signed quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal this offseason. He’s a good bet to start Week 1, but given the short term nature of the deal, they head into the 2021 NFL Draft with questions about the long-term future of the position.
Newton is getting up there in age, entering his 11th NFL season, and the Patriots have been connected to a variety of rumors at the position. They’ve been reportedly interested in re-acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo, and Wednesday evening saw a report they were working on ways to restructure his contract if they could get a deal done.
However, the draft is where things could get particularly interesting. New England sits at No. 15 and currently are getting regularly connected to Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. There is some chatter the team could move up in the draft, but Fields has been the one QB who has been rumored of late to slip down closer to where New England is picking.
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds on who will draft Fields, and the Patriots have emerged as the favorite. As of draft day morning, they are listed as the favorites at +200. They’re followed by the Panthers at +300, the Falcons and 49ers at +500, and the Broncos and Lions at +600.
But it’s the Patriots odds that are most interesting. Justin Fields odds opened on March 17th and at the time the Patriots were +1000 to draft Fields. There’s been considerable movement since, which you can follow below:
Mar 17: +1000
Mar 22: +700
Mar 26: +1000
Apr 13: +700 in AM, +500 in PM
Apr 15: +600
Apr 22: +400
Apr 25: +350
Apr 28: +300
Apr 29: +200
There are a whole lot of questions between the start of the draft and when the Patriots currently go on the clock at No. 15:
- The 49ers have been primarily connected to quarterbacks Mac Jones and Trey Lance.
- The Falcons are more often connected to tight end Kyle Pitts, but could go quarterback or trade down.
- The Dolphins are in position to move back further if they want.
- The Lions acquired Jared Goff this offseason, but could still be in the market.
- The Panthers acquired Sam Darnold and traded away Teddy Bridgewater, but have not yet picked up Darnold’s fifth year option.
- The Broncos acquired Bridgewater to compete with Drew Lock, but it only cost them a sixth round pick. There are reports they could still pull the trigger on a first round QB.
There will be trades and surprises during Thursday’s first round. Fields could very well slip to the Patriots at No. 15, but there are too many questions for the Patriots to be confident of that happening — assuming he’s their guy in the first place. It’s going to be a busy first couple hours of the draft, and the Patriots could be among the busiest.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN). 21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.