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Mahomes / Jackson Headline Early 2020 NFL MVP Conversation

Jared Block
by in NFL on
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 09: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs shakes hands with quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens after the Chiefs defeated the Ravens 27-24 in overtime to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Week three without sports now heads into the month of April. While all current sports are affected, the NFL has been making noise and will continue to as we head into draft talk in a few weeks. First, let’s talk about early odds for the 2020 NFL MVP conversation.

Tier 1

Patrick Mahomes +600
Lamar Jackson +750

Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is already the first player in NFL history to win league and Super Bowl MVP honors before his 25th birthday. There’s a good chance that the Kansas City gunslinger may even become the first player with two league MVPs before he’s even able to legally rent a car. Mahomes opened as the favorite to win the 2020 NFL MVP, just a few months removed from a Kansas City Super Bowl victory. It makes sense, as the Chiefs offense has returned in full outside of the parting of running back tandem LeSean McCoy and Spencer Ware (Damien Williams had his 2020 contract option picked up). Mahomes leads a Quarterback stacked field, with the top 10 MVP candidates also playing the quarterback position.

Among that group of quarterbacks is reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, who is coming off one of the most impressive offensive seasons of all time. The 23-year old threw for over 3,000 yards and ran for over 1,200 yards in his first full year under center, can you even imagine what he has in store for 2020?

The NFL hasn’t had a repeat MVP winner since Peyton Manning took home the award in consecutive years in 2008-09. Back in the 1990s, Brett Favre won consecutive MVPs in 1995-96 before sharing the honor with Barry Sanders in 1997.

Tier 2

Russell Wilson +900
Kyler Murray +1000
Tom Brady +1600
Deshaun Watson +1800
Dak Prescott +1800

The second tier of Quarterbacks ranges anywhere from +900 for Russ Wilson (who’s searching for his first award as Most Valuable Player) all the way to +1800 for Dak Prescott, who will be playing for what is inevitably the biggest contract that he’ll see in his football career. If the new Buccaneer Quarterback Tom Brady were to take home yet another MVP (he’s already a three-time winner), he would become the first player to win the MVP in three different decades. Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Houston’s Deshaun Watson also fall into this second tier, which you’ll notice is full of crafty, mobile QBs that like to create with their feet (outside of Brady).

Tier 3
Carson Wentz +2000
Drew Brees +2200
Aaron Rodgers +2200
Christian McCaffrey +2500
Jamies Winston +2500
Ezekiel Elliott +2800

Finally, the third tier of players who are most likely to win the 2020 MVP includes four Quarterbacks as well as a few players who aren’t directly under center. New Orleans’ fearless leader Drew Brees, who recently signed a two-year extension with the Saints, has yet to win the league’s highest individual honor despite being the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. Carson Wentz and the Eagles are coming off a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and Aaron Rodgers is coming off an NFC Championship humiliation to the Niners. Both QBs should be highly in consideration, as they’ve both been in the running several times over their careers.

Quarterbacks have won the last 13 MVP awards, with the last non-quarterback to win the award being San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson, who won the award in 2006, scored an NFL-record 31 touchdowns and lead San Diego to an AFC-best 14-2 record. Christian McCaffrey is coming off one of the best seasons as a running back ever and is still only getting +2500 odds to take home the title. Zeke Elliott is the second running back that is included in this tier at +2800, behind his counterpart Dak in Tier 2.

Unfortunately, defensive players don’t usually bode well for MVP odds. The only defensive players to win the honor are former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor (1986), and former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page (1971). The only special teams player to win the award is kicker Mark Moseley, whose play during the strike-shortened 1982 season helped the Redskins win their first Super Bowl title. While these odds may not change drastically after the NFL Draft later this month, this might be the right time to go on in and punch your ticket on one of these superstars early.

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