As teams aggressively pursued available quarterbacks or spent high-end draft capital on potential stars this offseason, the team with the single biggest need at the quarterback position waited patiently. With the long wait came speculation that the New England Patriots would be on a clear path to tanking for the 2021 NFL Draft. But they finally made their secret plans known Sunday night by signing Cam Newton to an incentive-laden one-year deal. The Patriots were the heavy favorites to sign Newton, with the most recent release of odds giving them an implied probability of 25%,
Despite many projecting Newton to the Patriots to be the most likely marriage, we have still seen bookmakers hit the reset button on the Patriots' future odds. The fact that this news was expected means that we shouldn’t see a significant overreaction, as most of this information is already baked into current lines. Still, this news won’t stop some bettors from overvaluing the Patriots on current futures bets.
[Editor’s note: Subscribe to PFF ELITE today to gain access to PFF’s Premium Stats and new Player Grades experience in addition to the 2020 NFL Draft Guide, 2020 Fantasy Rookie Scouting Report, PFF Greenline, all of PFF’s premium article content and more.]
The Patriots have been in a free-fall after seeing their opening win total of 9.5 drop a full win down to 8.5. This was one of the best bets on the under according to our simulation, which projected 7.5 wins before the Newton signing. After factoring in Newton as an upgrade over Jarrett Stidham, our simulation projects slightly under 8.5 wins. Initial betting markets have shown a bounceback to nine wins, with the expectation that this is where the line settles heading into Week 1.