January 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) congratulates San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) after the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Trask, Jimmy Garoppolo among favorites to be Bucs’ next QB

Tom Brady made his retirement from the NFL official Tuesday morning after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl victories. While the 44-year-old’s departure from the playing field had to come sooner or later, it leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a question mark at quarterback in 2022.

The Bucs signed Brady as a replacement for Jameis Winston in the 2020 offseason, and it immediately paid dividends with a title in Super Bowl LV. Tampa Bay lost in the divisional round of the playoffs this year before saying goodbye to Brady.

SportsBetting.ag released probabilities Tuesday for who Tampa Bay’s Week 1 starting quarterback will be this year, listing a number of NFL quarterbacks — including two retired players.

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers opened as the favorite at +400. But as of Tuesday evening, he had been eclipsed by someone actually on Tampa Bay’s roster: Kyle Trask.

The Buccaneers selected Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. A Florida product, Trask sat behind Brady as a rookie and did not see any game action. Trask opened at +650 but saw his odds quickly shorten to +400, ahead of Garoppolo at +450.

Garoppolo, coincidentally, spoke to reporters Tuesday and did not hide the fact that he expects the 49ers will trade him this offseason. San Francisco drafted quarterback Trey Lance third overall in last year’s draft and is keen on starting a new era with him under center.

“I just want to go to a place where they want to win,” Garoppolo said. “That’s really what I’m in this game for. I’m here to play football, win football games and as long as I’ve got that and good people around me, I think the rest will take care of itself.”

Following Garoppolo on the list of possible Bucs newcomers is Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz at +550. Wentz just completed his first season with Indianapolis, which missed out on a playoff berth by losing to Jacksonville in Week 18. His turnover issues seemed largely behind him until that game, when he tossed an interception and lost a fumble to the worst team in the league. It’s hard to say whether the Colts would entertain moving Wentz after just one year.

Green Bay Packers three-time MVP Aaron Rodgers is tied for fourth favorite at +750. Rodgers made it known last offseason that he was unhappy in Green Bay, and after a tumultuous but productive season, he’s expected to be the biggest piece of the offseason quarterback carousel whether he’s traded or stays in town.

Other notable options on the board include Cam Newton (+1200), who returned to the Carolina Panthers in 2021 but did not have much success; a reunion with Winston (+1400); Russell Wilson (+1600), who is potentially disgruntled in Seattle; and Blaine Gabbert (+2500), also presently on the Bucs’ roster.

Houston Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson, who sat out 2021 while embroiled in sexual assault and misconduct lawsuits, appears at +2500. Former Chargers and Colts quarterback Philip Rivers, who retired after the 2020 season, is at +5000, tied with fellow retiree Andrew Luck, a former Colt.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2020; Arlington, TX, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) throws a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners in the second quarter at ATT Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Florida record-setting QB Trask declares for NFL draft

Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Kyle Trask announced Thursday that he is entering the NFL draft.

Trask made his announcement in a video posted to various social media sites.

“I feel that it’s best to chase my dreams of playing in the NFL,” Trask said. “I’ve had dreams of playing in the NFL ever since I was a kid. Just to have this opportunity to play at the next level, it’s crazy and I’m going to try and go and make the most of it.”

Trask enjoyed a stellar 2020 season in which he set school records of 4,283 passing yards and 43 touchdowns passes. He topped 400 yards five times and twice threw six scoring passes.

Trask was intercepted eight times, three of them coming in a 55-20 loss to Oklahoma in Wednesday’s Cotton Bowl. He passed for a season-low 158 yards.

But the poor showing against the Sooners wasn’t diminishing Trask’s enthusiasm about his time with the Gators. He grew up near Houston and never imagined that playing in the Sunshine State would be such a life-changing experience.

“I will definitely always remember the memories we made and the big-time wins we had over the past couple years,” Trask said. “I will always be a Gator. I will always bleed Orange and Blue.”

Trask wasn’t a big-time recruit — his first start didn’t occur until Game 3 of the 2019 season — nor was he considered a high NFL draft pick prior to the season.

But the strong campaign improved his stock. He now rates as a one of the top half-dozen available quarterbacks and his name will surely be called within the first two rounds.

Gators coach Dan Mullen has enjoyed watching Trask’s rise.

“I couldn’t be prouder of him and the season that he had with our team this year. A special, special year for him,” Mullen said. “I’m really happy for him. I mean, you’re talking about a young guy that came in, I think only played a couple plays in his career before he even graduated college. Didn’t play much in high school. And now he’s a Heisman Trophy finalist and he’s going to be an NFL draft pick. So that says a lot about him.”

Trask said he has always drawn motivation from the doubters.

“When I think about it, just being counted out so many times,” Trask said of his career. “When people doubt me, it’s nothing new to me. It doesn’t hold me down. I don’t dwell on it. I just try to prove them wrong. I think that’s ultimately what’s gotten me here today.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) passes the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Trask heavy favorite as Fields’ Heisman hopes plummet

Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask appears to be closing in on the Heisman Trophy with two games remaining in his regular season.

Trask is the heavy favorite by sportsbooks, including DraftKings, where his odds have shortened to -125. The fifth-year senior is being backed by 36 percent of the handle and 14 percent of the total Heisman bets at the sportsbook.

Trask has thrown at least three touchdown passes in every game this season.

Mac Jones is the second betting favorite at +100, but only seven percent of the bets are backing the Alabama quarterback who will face Trask in the SEC Championship Game next week. That’s compared to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, the preseason favorite whose odds have lengthened to +1200 while missing a month of action due to a positive COVID-19 test and a canceled game.

Lawrence is still being back by 18 percent of the total bets at DraftKings despite having only the ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame between now and when the Heisman votes are submitted.

On the fringe of Heisman consideration is Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. The second preseason favorite behind Lawrence, Fields’ odds have lengthened to +2500 with the Buckeyes’ scheduled ravaged by COVID-19 issues. However, his odds did not lengthen further in the hours after Ohio State’s game against Michigan was canceled on Tuesday.

Fields has been passed by Ian Book (+1600), although the Notre Dame quarterback is being backed by only seven percent of the total bets and four percent of the handle – lowest among the five.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) warms up before the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama, Florida QB Trask remain betting favorites

Alabama remains the odds-on favorite to win the national title after dominating Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, while Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is inching closer to the Heisman Trophy.

The Crimson Tide are the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 poll and are expected to remain in the top spot when the next College Football Playoff rankings are released Tuesday. Alabama is being offered at +125 by DraftKings to win the national title, ahead of the Clemson Tigers (+250), Ohio State Buckeyes (+550) and Notre Dame (+600).

With Clemson and Notre Dame on a collision course for a rematch in the ACC title game, Florida (+1200) and Texas A&M (+1600) are among the teams still battling for a spot in the CFP semifinals.

The Gators moved to 7-1 with a 34-10 win over Kentucky on Saturday. Trask has thrown for at least three touchdowns in every game this season and remains the Heisman favorite at -110 by DraftKings.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones did close the gap a bit and is being offered at +150 after throwing for 302 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-13 rout of Auburn. Jones was listed at +300 by DraftKings last week.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence played for the first time in a month and threw for 403 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Tigers’ 52-17 win over Pittsburgh. The junior shortened his Heisman odds from +1200 to +500, moving past Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (+1000), who had his game against Illinois canceled due to the Buckeyes’ COVID-19 outbreak.

Fields was being offered at +250 last week, but will have six regular-season games at most to build his Heisman resume. Ohio State isn’t guaranteed to be eligible for the Big Ten championship if the Buckeyes aren’t able to play at Michigan State on Saturday before closing out their regular season against Michigan.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) warms up before the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Gators’ Kyle Trask takes command as Heisman favorite

An afterthought in the Heisman Trophy race just a few weeks ago, Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask is now the heavy favorite to take home the award.

Trask has led No. 6 Florida to a 6-1 start while improving his record as a starter to 14-3 since taking over for Feleipe Franks last year. Fourth in the Heisman Trophy odds much of the season, the fifth-year senior is now the heavy favorite at sportsbooks including DraftKings (-134) and PointsBet (-125).

He has leapfrogged a trio that has been jockeying for the top spot all season.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is being offered at +250 by both books, with DraftKings offering Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at +300 and PointsBet listing him at +350.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence began the season as the overwhelming Heisman favorite but has seen his hopes derailed by a positive COVID-19 test and a canceled game, leading to the junior being out of action since last month. He is now being offered at +1200 by DraftKings and +1600 by PointsBet.

Both books are offering Heisman odds on 11 players, but those four are considered the only ones with a legitimate chance to win the award at this stage of the season.

Trask has led the Gators to touchdowns on their opening drive in five of seven games while completing 70.7 percent of his passes on the season for 2,554 yards, 31 touchdowns and three interceptions. His production is considered even more impressive since it has come against an SEC-only slate of opponents in the Gators’ COVID-19-altered schedule.

Only Texas Tech’s B.J. Symons (32 in 2003) has thrown more touchdowns through the first seven games in a season in FBS history. Trask is also second in the nation with an average of 364.9 passing yards per game. He has at least three touchdown passes in every game this season, and at least four in each of his first six games.

Despite his gaudy numbers, the 6-foot-5 Trask is still not considered a first-round NFL draft prospect by most analysts due to moderate arm strength and the lack of dynamic athleticism.

Lawrence may not take home the Heisman Trophy after this season, but he is the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick should he forgo his senior season.

The junior is the -1000 favorite by PointsBet to be the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, followed by Fields (+500) and offensive tackle Penei Sewell (+750), who opted out of this season at Oregon to focus on the draft.

–Field Level Media