There might not be panic in the streets just yet, but a Tom Brady return to the New England Patriots admittedly feels less and less likely as the days past.
That feeling was amplified Thursday when multiple reports made it seem like Brady leaving Foxboro is truly on the table. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said he’d be “stunned” if Brady re-signed with the Patriots, and the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian cited a source who said a Brady return is “not looking good.”
Be that as it may, there are reasons the Patriots and Brady reportedly haven’t talked yet. If and when the NFL passes a new collective bargaining agreement, we should have a better understanding of where Brady and the Patriots stand. There are also plenty of people who still feel Brady will be under center for New England in 2020 and beyond, and that includes the oddsmakers.
Or, put another way, Brady coming back is still the odds-on favorite.
New England remains the favorite to re-sign Tom Brady this offseason. pic.twitter.com/PMocNdlUuB
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) February 27, 2020
There is, however, a catch.
You see, while the Patriots remain the betting favorite to sign the future Hall of Famer, there is less and less confidence within the betting market about that happening.
In late January, New England was the runaway favorite.
Where will Tom Brady play in 2020? ?
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 29, 2020
A few days later, that -335 number shrunk to -305 right around the Super Bowl. Obviously, that drop has been much sharper down to -150 on the heels of Thursday’s reports. It’s worth noting, there was a similar drop at FanDuel’s online sportsbook where the Patriots went from -330 favorites as recently as a week ago to a -180 number on Thursday.
The biggest “winners” in this whole thing? The Las Vegas Raiders. Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock and Mark Davis were 20-to-1 to sign Brady in late January, per DraftKings. Now, they’re just 5-to-1 and the second favorite after New England. Tennessee also has seen a good deal of momentum, going from 16-to-1 down to 7-to-1, while oddsmakers are buying the Los Angeles Chargers less and less every day. LA went from closely following the Patriots (4-to-1 on Jan. 29) to being relative long shots at 16-to-1.
Here’s the bottom line, though: No one knows what Brady will do, perhaps even Brady himself. But that’s understandably not enough for a lot of people who live and die with the Patriots (or one of these other teams), and we’re left to grasp at straws until Brady finally makes his decision in a few weeks.