Today is one of the most important days of the NFL’s 2017 offseason as starting at 4 p.m. ET teams can officially sign free agents to contracts. So expect those NFL futures odds at various sportsbooks to be changing.
While free agency doesn’t technically open until 4 p.m. ET on March 9, there are going to be contracts agreed to before that. It already has happened: six-time Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall, recently released by the New York Jets, has signed with the New York Giants – so at least Marshall won’t have to move. Marshall reportedly got a two-year, $12 million deal. In 2015, his first year with the Jets, Marshall set franchise records for receiving yards (1,502), catches (109) and touchdowns (14) while setting a single-season record with 10 100-yard games.
Last year, Marshall slumped to 59 catches for 788 yards and three TDs. To be fair, he didn’t have good quarterback play at all. The Giants’ Eli Manning is certainly an upgrade over the Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick or Bryce Petty. Big Blue now has arguably the best trio of receivers in football in Odell Beckham Jr. (101 catches, 1,367 yards, 10 TDs in 2016), Sterling Shepard (65 catches, 683 yards, 8 TDs as a rookie) and Marshall. The Giants made the playoffs last season at 11-5 but lost in the wild-card round in Green Bay. On BetOnline’s NFL odds, the Giants are currently +1000 to win the NFC title in 2017. Again, many teams’ odds will change following free agency.
The top free agent on the market is likely former Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Bears could have franchised him for a second straight season but strangely opted not to. Jeffery is a major talent but has trouble staying healthy – and had a four-game PED suspension last season. BookMaker had an NFL prop a couple of weeks ago as to where Jeffery would land. The Bears were +150 favorites but that was before the team opted not to franchise him. Teams linked to Jeffery include the Titans, Eagles and 49ers. Jeffery was spotted in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Arguably the biggest name on the market is former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Bovada offered a prop on where he would land, and the Oakland Raiders had moved into the +300 favored role, replacing Tampa Bay, before that was taken down. Peterson could re-sign with Minnesota but reportedly has eyes on the Raiders and Seahawks if he leaves. As of now, the Seahawks aren’t interested. Oakland has a hole at running back with Latavius Murray a free agent. The Raiders are +700 currently to win the AFC title.
The top free-agent quarterback on the market is considered to be Tampa Bay backup Mike Glennon. His market might be down to just the Bears. They are going to move on from Jay Cutler.
Get ready for a wild couple of days, although as much as things change they remain the same: New England (+450) is the current Super Bowl betting favorite and free agency won’t change that.