The season just ended a week ago but the oddsmakers have already started with their early projections of the 2021 season. ESPN ranked the Buccaneers fourth in their “way too early” power rankings, behind the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Green Bay Packers. As far as Super Bowl odds, the Bucs are favored to come out of the NFC and they sit second behind the Chiefs in odds to win it all.
But what about MVP odds?
Well, it’s the usual suspects at the top of the list according to Covers.com - Patrick Mahomes is a +500 and Aaron Rodgers is second at +800. Tom Brady, however, sits at sixth with a +1,600 - tied with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, and new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford round out the top five for 2021.
For Brady, you could easily make the argument that he was more valuable to his team than Aaron Rodgers was to the Packers in 2020. Honestly, you could make the argument that was the most valuable to his team than any other individual player was to theirs. The addition of Brady brought in the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and Leonard Fournette to a team that hadn’t been to the playoffs in thirteen years. Then, not only did they make the playoffs, but they won the Super Bowl.
At this stage, it’s almost become the Michael Jordan effect for Tom Brady. Though he had a stellar season and threw for the second most touchdowns in a season in his career, people have come to expect a level of excellence from him. So even though he had a MVP-caliber year in 2020, he doesn’t get the consideration because it’s just expected.
The other problem is the way the MVP award has changed over the years. It’s no longer the player that is the most valuable to their franchise, it’s the quarterback that had the best season on a winning team. In fact, those odds at Covers have quarterbacks in the top twelve spots. The first non-quarterback to appear is Titans running back Derrick Henry in thirteenth place at +3,300. I would argue Derrick Henry deserved the MVP over Rodgers in 2020 because without Henry the Titans aren’t going to the playoffs. His impact on that offense is more valuable.
Either way, Brady will get the recognition and odds for 2021 that he deserves and while he likely won’t get the MVP in 2021, it’s nice to know you have the GOAT under center for a chance to repeat in Super Bowl LVI.