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Patriots coach Bill Belichick likes to keep things close to the vest. But the spotlight is hard to run from when you've won six Super Bowls. On Tuesday morning, the spotlight returned to the New England Patriots with some major quarterback news.
The Patriots released quarterback Cam Newton, naming rookie Mac Jones the starter for Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
Jones entered the day with +800 odds of winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award (a $100 bet wins you $800), sitting right behind 49ers rookie Trey Lance. That's not the case anymore.
Lance stayed at +750, but Jones jumped all the way up to +450. That gives him the second-best odds to win the award, behind only Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lawrence, the top pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, has +350 odds to win.
Lawrence came into Tuesday with +325 odds, which slightly fell after the Jones news.
The 49ers reportedly were highly interested in the former Alabama QB after trading up to the No. 3 overall pick. But they opted to go with the younger, more versatile Lance instead.
Lance is expected to miss one week while dealing with a fracture on his right throwing hand. The North Dakota State product sustained the injury Sunday in the 49ers' final preseason game. The injury shouldn't affect his status for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions.
Even if Jimmy Garoppolo begins the season as the 49ers' starting QB, Lance should factor into the equation. He could just be used as a read-option threat early on before eventually taking over the job.
For now, though, the odds point to Lawrence and Jones as the favorites to be crowned Offensive Rookie of the Year.