We are now very much into the decisive period of Free Agency in the NFL, with teams having already franchise tagged some players, let others go to create cap space and then snapped up players that they feel will improve their chances next season.
Even though there is still plenty of time for Free Agents to be signed, and with the 2021 NFL Draft quickly approaching, there is evidence that some moves by teams during this period have affected their odds on winning the Super Bowl next year markedly.
For some teams, who have made some astute moves, their odds have fallen while others who have seen key players lost in Free Agency, or who have made trades not viewed particularly favorably, or who are in cap space purgatory, have seen their odds increase.
Let’s take a look now at who the sportsbook thinks have done well out of Free Agency so far, as well as those who haven’t by taking a look at the very latest Super Bowl odds with DraftKings Sportsbook.
NFL Free Agency 2021 – The Winners
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+750)
With so many veteran players potentially hitting Free Agency, the feeling was that unless the Bucs could pull off some very clever financial juggling, they could be a team on the wane next season.
However, after tagging receiver Chris Godwin they have managed to re-sign Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David and Rob Gronkowski, plus kicker Ryan Succop. They’ve managed to retain all the key pieces of their team from last season, save for running back Leonard Fournette thus far.
No wonder then that the Bucs have shortened in the betting to be second favourites behind the Chiefs.
Los Angeles Rams (+1300)
The end of the Jared Goff era in Los Angeles, combined with the trade for Lions quarterback Matt Stafford has plenty of Rams fans believing that this team could well be on the cusp of being a genuine Super Bowl contender.
They reached the playoffs last year and there is no doubt Stafford is a big upgrade on Goff, who’s lack of consistency was a big issue for the Rams. Keeping Leonard Floyd as a complement to Aaron Donald on defense is a smart, if expensive move but there are plenty believing in the Rams this season.
San Francisco 49ers (+1500)
Re-signing their left tackle Trent Williams was a very smart move by the 49ers, if an expensive one but as he is one of the best in the game, he was always going to get paid. Add to that Juszczyk, Moseley and Verret re-signing too and the 49ers brought back a number of key pieces of the jigsaw for next season.
They made a very smart move for Falcons center Alex Mack, albeit on a one-year deal and the signing of defensive end Samson Ebukam is a smart move that could be one of the shrewdest moves of the year. Little wonder the 49ers odds have come in sharply.
New England Patriots (+3000)
Bill Belichick isn’t used to average seasons in New England and that is what they had last season. Cam Newton is back in what is a somewhat underwhelming signing but New England have splashed the cash in Free Agency spending more than any team other than the 2020 Miami Dolphins.
Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry offer significant upgrades at tight end, Matt Judon is a talented linebacker, while Jalen Mills, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Davon Godchaux are also shrewd moves. Ex-Dolphins duo Ted Karras and Kyle Van Noy look like being clever moves too.
The Pats odds haven’t come in dramatically as yet, but all these signings are typical Belichick and don’t be surprised if they play beyond their current odds when the season gets underway, though I would be more confident if they’d gone with a different quarterback under center for next season.
NFL Free Agency 2021 – The Losers
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3300)
Ben Roethlisberger will be back for another year after some restructuring of his deal freed up cap space for the Steelers but losing Bud Dupree to the Titans is a big blow to that defense.
Pittsburgh was a team that tailed off markedly towards the end of last season after a stellar start and the losses they are likely to take in Free Agency doesn’t give punters much hope they will improve much on that next season.
Chicago Bears (+5000)
Hopes were high for Bears fans this off-season with moves for DeShaun Watson or Russell Wilson mooted. Andy Dalton is a significant step down from those two options and their other moves in franchie tagging Allen Robinson, re-signing Mario Edwards and Deon Bush don’t really add anything extra to the team.
Many people feel that Robinson’s time in Chicago could be up with Dalton at quarterback and Chicago may be answering a few calls about trades for their star receiver unless they can back him up with some additional quality and that hasn’t happened at the moment.
Of course, there’s still plenty of stories to be told in Free Agency and many more top names to be snapped up by teams which could change the odds once again. Add to that the NFL Draft and the 2021 NFL season is already shaping up to be an intriguing one.
And remember, if you think any team has improved their chances of a Super Bowl title enough to warrant backing, now is usually the time to get the best odds on that team!