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First NFL QB benched? Baker Mayfield early favorite

Baker Mayfield clearly hasn’t silenced all of his doubters. After renewing his potential with the Los Angeles Rams in five games to close the 2022 season – his third team of the year – Mayfield signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay this offseason and beat out Kyle Trask for the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback job.

However, it was one of the more hotly-contested quarterback battles of the preseason, and Mayfield isn’t promised the job a day longer than the Sept. 10 season opener at Minnesota. Following that, Tampa Bay returns home for two games – first against Chicago and then against reigning NFC champion Philadelphia. That’s why Mayfield was installed by as the +200 “favorite” to be the first NFL quarterback to lose his starting job this season. He’s ahead of Washington’s first-year starter Sam Howell (+400) and Tennessee veteran Ryan Tannehill (+600). The book opened the prop market offering odds on 31 NFL teams. The lone exception was the Arizona Cardinals, whose quarterback situation was further muddled by Monday’s release of veteran Colt McCoy.

Josh Dobbs, who was acquired by Arizona from Cleveland last week, and is familiar with coordinator Drew Petzing’s scheme from their time together with the Browns, is now the leading candidate among a group that also includes rookie Clayton Tune along with journeymen David Blough and Jeff Driskell.


Baker Mayfield (+200) Sam Howell (+400) Ryan Tannehill (+600) C.J. Stroud (+700) Mac Jones (+700) Desmond Ridder (+900) Anthony Richardson (+1000) Bryce Young (+1200) Jimmy Garoppolo (+1400) Jordan Love (+1400) Matthew Stafford (+1600) Brock Purdy (+2000) Jared Goff (+2000) Derek Carr (+4000) Geno Smith (+4000) Justin Fields (+4000) Kenny Pickett (+4000) Kirk Cousins (+4000) Daniel Jones (+5000) Deshaun Watson (+5000) Russell Wilson (+5000) Dak Prescott (+10000) Joe Burrow (+10000) Tua Tagovailoa (+20000) Justin Herbert (+25000) Trevor Lawrence (+25000) Aaron Rodgers (+50000) Jalen Hurts (+50000) Josh Allen (+50000) Lamar Jackson (+50000) Patrick Mahomes (+100000)

The book clearly believes the three rookie starters entering Week 1 will be given a longer leash than veterans who may stumble out of the gate. C.J. Stroud, who was named the Houston Texans’ starter on Monday, has +700 odds to be the first quarterback benched this season. Indianapolis rookie Anthony Richardson has +1000 odds, followed by Carolina’s Bryce Young at +1200.

Along with Mayfield and Tannehill, there are several situations that bear watching among incumbent quarterbacks. Mac Jones returns as New England’s starter, but second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe is waiting in the wings should Jones stumble out of the gate. And coach Bill Belichick proved last year that he’s not shy about making a switch if he feels the need.

Somewhat surprising odds belong to Denver’s Russell Wilson at +5000 – making the embattled Broncos quarterback the 11th longest shot to be the first benched this season. Wilson is entering what is likely a make-or-break season under new coach Sean Payton.

Then again, his only real competition is Jarrett Stidham, who has entered the journeyman realm as he joins his third team in as many years and has thrown only 131 total passes through his first three NFL seasons.

The longest odds understandably belong to two-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, who enters the season with +100000 odds to be the first NFL quarterback sent to the bench by his coach this season. –Field Level Media


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