In an offseason that has more twists than my grandmother’s favorite telenovela, our friends in the desert are apparently bracing for one more.
Bill Huber hears multiple sports books believe Aaron Rodgers will announce his retirement before the start of the 2021 NFL season. It could come as early as before Wednesday’s first training camp practice, Huber reports. This comes on the heels of Huber reaching out to multiple sportsbooks who reportedly pulled betting odds from the market. For instance, Huber reports the Westgate Superbook has taken NFC North futures markets off the board. Among the bets that are reportedly closed include projected wins, playoff odds, divisional odds, and weekly lines for divisional teams. The Westgate Superbook is one of the most popular books in Vegas. And they aren’t alone in making moves. We’ve also seen bets taken off the boards at DraftKings and PointsBet. So it’s not like we’re talking about small potatoes.
Mind you, all of this reporting is coming from Huber, who has been covering the Packers since 2008. So, perhaps this buzz holds some weight. Huber should have a good lay of the land. And at least he did the leg work in reaching out. Major props for doing that much.
Over at Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio cites a source “with direct knowledge of the Rodgers situation” who said “Vegas oddsmakers tend to be pretty sharp” in response to what is happening on the sports betting market. Florio adds the source also chimed into to suggest a lot of scenarios are in play, and “many, many factors” will be relevant to the outcome. Umm … OK? That seems like a bit of a hedge, but you still have my full attention.
At minimum, it freaks me about a bit when sports books make drastic moves such as this one. Mostly because making those moves looks like a sign that they think retirement is a real possibility. To be clear, these are notable, sizable, and significant moves. Because in addition to the Packers being a popular team for Vegas bettors to get in on, closing off other NFC North markets means Chicago football fans can’t jump in and throw money at their team. We know how Bears backers bet enough to tweak Vegas’ formula. And it’s not like Vegas to turn down taking someone’s money, especially if it thinks it will keep the cash.
In any case, we’ll continue to keep our eyes open to this situation. A retirement from Rodgers feels like it would be a rash decision. Because, in addition to it being unexpected, it seems like retiring now is the exact opposite of the type of cerebral decision-making we know Rodgers for when he is carving up our favorite team. A large part of me wants to take the “I’ll believe it when I see it approach.” But that we’re even having a conversation about it is wild enough.