Patriots

What's with Jarrett Stidham's surprisingly strong 2020 NFL MVP odds?

What's with Jarrett Stidham's surprisingly strong 2020 NFL MVP odds?

Christian McCaffrey led the NFL in total scrimmage yards in 2019. Jarrett Stidham attempted three passes that weren't intercepted.

Both players share the same odds to win 2020 NFL MVP.

That's right: The New England Patriots' second-year quarterback, who has yet to start an NFL game after backing up Tom Brady last season, is listed at +5000 to win the NFL MVP award at DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Stidham shares those +5000 odds with eight other players. Here's the list:

Josh Allen, QB, Bills
Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions

To reiterate: Stidham (who might not even start in Week 1) has the same chance to be named the NFL's best player as the league's rushing title holder (Henry), a former Rookie of the Year (Barkley) and the guy who was supposed to be Brady's heir apparent in New England (Garoppolo).

How is this possible? It's all about expectations.

Many expect the Patriots to nosedive following Brady's departure to Tampa Bay. But if Stidham can guide New England to a winning record or even a playoff berth, he could gain traction as a dark-horse MVP candidate who worked wonders with an offense lacking elite weapons.

Considering Bill Belichick's Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel after Brady got hurt in 2008, that scenario isn't totally far-fetched.

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Of course, there still are 11 players with better MVP odds than Stidham, including Brady, whose +1600 odds rank him behind Dak Prescott (+1400), Russell Wilson (+800), Lamar Jackson (+700) and favorite Patrick Mahomes (+400), per DraftKings Sportsbook.

But it appears there's faint optimism among oddsmakers that "The Stidham Plan" will pay off in a breakout season for the 23-year-old QB.

Cam Newton opens up about replacing Tom Brady, excitement about Patriots offense

Cam Newton opens up about replacing Tom Brady, excitement about Patriots offense

I don’t know when we’ll get to hear from Patriots quarterback Cam Newton. My suspicion is it will be later rather than sooner.

But everything we’ve wondered since the Patriots signed him? Everything we’ve theorized might change with the Patriots offense? Everything we wondered about Newton following Tom Brady?

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Newton hit it during a YouTube show with Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Todd Gurley that posted on Monday.

The hour-long program jumps from topic to topic and it’s not until about the 34-minute mark where Newton begins discussing joining the Patriots.

After a little talk about motivation (we knew he was motivated) and perceived disrespect (also knew that), Newton hit on actual football and succeeding Tom Brady in what I thought was the meatiest part of the piece.

“We have to talk about the elephant in the room,” said Newton. “And it’s like, ‘You know who you coming after?’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah. Great.’

“What he was, what he is? Is great. Needs no … even … talking about it.

“But one thing about it though, ‘Coach (Josh) McDaniels, you able to call some stuff you ain’t ever been able to call now. You getting a dog. You getting one of these ticked off dogs too, that like bruh.”

Newton began pretending to read off a sheet of paper.

“And I’m looking at the schedule like, “Who we playing? THAT team passed on me. THAT team passed on me, they coulda came and got me. THEY hollered at me. I even asked my agent, like, ‘Yo what’s up with …” Bro. I’m gonna take this time with the COVID and I’m gonna commit to myself.”

Newton also related how he got the news the Patriots were coming after him.

“My agent hit me, I was — no cap — I was working out and he was like, ‘Hey man, we just got interest from a team.’

“And I’m like, ‘OK, who?’

“And he was like New ENGLAND …”

The camera cuts to Beckham, who sits up straight in his chair.

Newton continued, “I said, ‘Hold on. How, how is me and Belichick gonna mesh? You know what I’m saying?’ ”

“That was the first thing I thought!” Cruz interjected.

“Because it’s like perception…” said Newton.

OBJ then cut in with a minute-long verbal journey to nowhere before concluding with, “So for me, watching you and now to feel that vindication and to be going to Belichick, there is no, like, ‘How is it gonna work?’ For me, all he wanna do is put you in a position to succeed and I’m happy to see it.”

Odell Beckham Jr. had more praise for Bill Belichick in Cam Newton sit-down

Odell Beckham Jr. had more praise for Bill Belichick in Cam Newton sit-down

Odell Beckham Jr. recently insisted he's staying with the Cleveland Browns this season, and we'll take him at his word.

But the star wide receiver still really, really likes New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Beckham posted a sit-down conversation Monday on YouTube featuring himself, former wide receiver Victor Cruz, running back Todd Gurley and new Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.

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When the discussion turned to Newton and how he'd "mesh" with Belichick in New England, Beckham piped up to insist perception isn't reality with the Patriots coach, and that Belichick will help Newton thrive in New England.

 

"Watching you and now to feel that vindication and to be going to Belichick, there is no, 'How is it going to work?' " Beckham told Newton. "For me, all he wants to do is put you in a place to succeed. And I'm happy to see it."

While some players (looking at you, Lane Johnson) view Belichick as a curmudgeonly autocrat who hates fun, Beckham is a fan of Belichick who knows what the head coach can get out of his players.

Beckham's opinion is nothing new: Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot recently told our Tom E. Curran that Beckham has long been enamored with Belichick and Tom Brady's success in New England and "always wistfully wished he could be a part of that" from afar.

After Brady left New England this offseason, it was hard to envision Beckham scrambling to catch passes from Jarrett Stidham. But Newton and Beckham are close and have worked out together several times this offseason, so perhaps Beckham's "wistful" thoughts of joining the Patriots will return.