The 2022 NFL season has written its final chapter, and we now enter the long football drought that is the offseason. While there's plenty of time between now and the start of the 2023 campaign, it's never too early to look ahead and see what storylines could be in store for us once we get there. One of the more compelling storylines, of course, will be centered around which player can rise above the rest and win league MVP.
That honor went to Patrick Mahomes this past season, and the Chiefs quarterback snapped the curse of league MVP being unable to win the Super Bowl in the same year. He became the first reigning MVP to also hoist the Lombardi Trophy since Kurt Warner in 1999.
As you may expect, Mahomes is looked at as the odds-on favorite to win the MVP award in 2023. That would make him just the sixth player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did so most recently in 2020 and 2021, and Mahomes would be in an elite group that also includes Peyton Manning (twice), Brett Favre, Joe Montana, and Jim Brown.
Here's a look a the full list of the MVP award favorites for next season.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
|Player||2023 NFL MVP Odds|
While it's always less appealing to roll with the chalk and pick the favorite to win MVP next year, it's hard to imagine a world where Mahomes is not in the conversation in 2023 outside of some catastrophic injury. Kansas City is currently looking at a strength of schedule in 2023 that ranks in the middle of the league, so the road to a successful season currently doesn't look like it'll be too daunting.
Meanwhile, It's worth noting that Jalen Hurts, the runner-up for league MVP this season is currently tied for the third-best odds to win the award next season at +1100. He's looking up at Mahomes along with Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Hurts is coming off a breakout season where he developed dramatically as a passer (101.5 passer rating) while also continuing to be a lethal threat with his legs (760 yards rushing, 13 rushing touchdowns). If he can replicate those numbers next season, getting him at 11/1 is intriguing. However, Philadelphia is looking at the toughest schedule in the NFL next season when you look at its opponent's combined winning percentage from this past year.
If we want a value play, let's take a look at Justin Fields. He can make a similar impact with his legs as Hurts, and he's coming off a sophomore season during which he became just the third quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards. If he takes a similar leap as a passer as Hurts did in 2022, Fields could follow a similar road toward the MVP conversation. That's not an unrealistic ask, either, as Chicago has the tools to surround him with better talent this offseason. The Bears own the No. 1 overall pick at the 2023 NFL Draft and have the most amount of salary cap space in the NFL by a significant margin. The Bears are looking at roughly $98.6 million in cap space, while the team with the second most amount of space has $56.4 million. Those are enough assets to drastically jumpstart this Chicago rebuild and surround Fields with the necessary talent to help cater to a breakout year. At 40/1, this is worth a look.
The pick: Patrick Mahomes (+650)
The value pick: Justin Fields (+4000)