Can Aaron Rodgers Repeat as NFL Regular Season MVP?

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Can Aaron Rodgers Repeat as NFL Regular Season MVP?
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers emerges as the second-best bet to win the 2021 MVP award. He’s coming up behind Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who is the early fave to win next season’s top honor in online betting.

Rodgers, the reigning MVP – although not the short-odds-on-fave – is nevertheless still a strong betting option. And why not? Lots of positives are on hand to hang one’s hat on for a potential 2021 MVP nod: Rodgers is coming off a stellar season, one of the best in his career in the eyes of many; Matt LaFleur is set to start his third season as the head coach, and the chemistry between coach and quarterback continues to flourish auspiciously; and, already, in the last two seasons, the pair have taken Green Bay to the NFC Championship game, albeit falling on both occasions at that penultimate hurdle.

But repeating as MVP is proven to be extremely difficult – only a handful of players have won back-to-back MVP awards in the history of the NFL. And that fact alone raises the question of whether the market has got it right by corralling Rodgers’ odds into second place. That while early NFL Futures markets project a high probability of Rodgers winning a second straight MVP, that in of itself isn’t a guarantee of anything,

Put it another way, a lot would have to fall Rodgers’ way in the upcoming season in order to be considered for a second straight MVP and fourth overall in his career by his peers. Much of which is impossible to predict right now without an idea of what the Packers will look like (roster decisions), what their drafting decisions will be, how the schedule will stack up, and so on.

Quarterbacks Rule MVP Market

What we do know, however, is that quarterbacks have dominated the award in the recent past. In that respect, Rodgers is a likely and popular choice. Consider, Rodgers is the reigning MVP holder coming off a stellar season. He’s positioned well to build on that success in 2021, and that could very well lead to another MVP title in the regular season.

Mahomes is listed at +500, while Rodgers follows at +700. After this top pairing, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford. Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Lamar Jackson make up some of the other top bets to consider in the race for MVP – all quarterbacks that are priced somewhere between +1000 to +2000 or thereabouts depending on the betting site.

The last eight MVP winners in a row were quarterbacks. So too were thirteen of the last fourteen MVP winners, with Adrian Peterson (running back), bucking the trend in 2012. This tendency for quarterbacks to win the MVP award underscores Aaron Rodgers’ MVP odds for the 2021 season, as it does his counterparts’ odds too.

List of Last 10 MVP Winners

2020Aaron Rodgers (3)QBPackers13-3
2019Lamar JacksonQBRavens14-2
2018Patrick MahomesQBChiefs12-4
2017Tom Brady (3)QBPatriots13-3
2016Matt RyanQBFalcons11-5
2015Cam NewtonQBPanthers15-1
2014Aaron Rodgers (2)QBPackers12-4
2013Peyton Manning (5)QBBroncos13-3
2012Adrian PetersonRBVikings10-6
2011Aaron RodgersQBPackers15-1

Rodgers Wins Third Career MVP Award

Historical trends reveal that winning back-to-back MVPs is no mean trick. Looking back at the last ten winners, clearly shows there were no repeat winners in any given season.

Indeed, occasions of repeat winners have been few and far in between in the history of the game. Brett Favre won it three years in a row between 1995-1997, which is the most successive wins of any player. In the meanwhile, Joe Montana won it in back-to-back seasons (1989-90) as did Peyton Manning, who won it back-to-back twice (2003-2004 and 2008-2009).

Winning the 2020 MVP award marked Aaron Rodgers’ third career MVP honor, joining an exclusive group of multiple MVP winners such as Bret Favre, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning.

“The guys on that list are guys I grew up watching and idolizing,” Rodgers said. “I was fortunate to play with Brett for three years — a guy who won it three years in a row, something that will probably never be done again; it’s so difficult to have that sustained success, and do it in consecutive years three times. And Tom is one of the greatest of all time, and to join that list of guys who have won it more than two times is really special.”

Matt LaFleur Aaron Rodgers
Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers #12. Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images/AFP

To many NFL analysts and experts, it was the best season of Rodgers’ 16-year career with Green Bay. Rodgers led the Packers to a 13-3 SU mark in the regular season and on to an NFC Championship appearance in the ensuing playoffs.

Rodgers, at 37 years of age, led the league with 48 touchdown passes, 70.7 completion percentage while being picked off only five times. He finished the season with the second-best passer rating in the history of the game (121.5), coming up short of his own record setting passer rating of 122.5 set during his 2011 MVP season.

“It is really special to have won it in my fourth year as a starter and now to win it in my 13th year as a starter in a new offence is pretty amazing and something I am very proud of,” Rodgers said. “To have sustained success and be able to play your best football at 37 in my 16th season is something I take a lot of pride in.”

Rodgers’ Uncertain Future in Green Bay Undermines His MVP odds

As a proven champion, flush off his third MVP award, Rodgers is primed for success next season. He’s playing some of his best football under Matt LaFleur and the Packers promise to be once again a powerhouse in the NFC North, if not the NFC. However, everything rests on Rodgers’ status in Green Bay. That is, assuming he remains the bonafide starter for the Packers, and the organization this time doesn’t betray him or the team’s needs in the draft.

The long short of it, Rodgers has reason to be frustrated with Green Bay. And If the Packers fail to go all-in this time around, that frustration could boil over with far-reaching consequences.

Speculation and uncertainty had surrounded Rodgers at the start of last season, in particular the viability of his position as a starter with the Green Bay Packers. That was a direct consequence of the 2020 NFL draft during which Green Bay traded up in the first round to select quarterback Jordan Love. To say few saw that stunner coming is an understatement.

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It was a shocking move that caught the NFL betting community totally unaware, never mind it blindsided Rodgers himself. He’d been hoping for one of the coveted wide receivers in the draft class to be selected. An offensive weapon or two that would shore up Green Bay’s offense and give him more targets to throw to, he openly admitted afterward.

Instead, Rodgers was left to just get on with it when that didn’t happen, doing so admirably. He rose above all the noise and quickly put paid on any notions that his heir apparent, Jordan Love, would replace him that year.

Now the pressure is on Green Bay’s front office. On the very same group that failed to shore up the offense last year. Should the powers-that-be in Green Bay fail for a second straight offseason to provide Rodgers with elite offensive weapons, things might not work out so well again this time around. Not to mention, Rodgers might see his way out of Green Bay entirely.

Immediately after Green Bay’s loss to Tampa Bay, a philosophical Rodgers seemed very uncertain about his future. Saying “I don’t know” repeatedly when referring to the offseason and 2021. Gone was his zen-like joie de vivre that he’d become known for during the 2020 campaign.

“There’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now, “ said Rodgers. And I’m just going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and just kind of see what’s going on with everything. But it’s pretty tough right now. Especially thinking about the guys that may or may not be here next year. There’s always change. That’s the only constant in this business.”

Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers participates in a drill as Jordan Love #10 looks on during Training Camp last year. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

The idea that Rodgers would part ways with Green Bay isn’t quite the anathema to NFL bettors and fans that it might have been a couple of years ago. After Tom Brady’s successful league hop from New England to Tampa Bay last season paved the way to his seventh Super Bowl title, anything seems possible even the previously unthinkable. Tampa Bay showed exactly what kind of results can be achieved when a team goes all-in for its quarterback and many have taken note, including Rodgers.

So, if there’s one reason why betting on Rodgers to win the MVP is a risky wager to make for early NFL picks, it’s the uncertainty of his future with Green Bay right now.

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