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NFL QB Index: Way-too-early top 10 MVP candidates under center

The 2024 NFL schedule has been released, and after meticulously perusing every line item in all 32 teams' slates, it's time to start making bold predictions.

Yep, that's right: I have a take -- well, multiple takes -- and they all center around the 2024 NFL MVP race. Think it's too early to start talking MVP? Nonsense! That's precisely what I'm about to do.

Here are my way-too-early top 10 QB candidates for the 2024 MVP, roughly nine months before it will be awarded.

NOTE: The odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook & Casino are current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 16.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · MVP odds: +500

If Mahomes is healthy and Kansas City doesn't fall like the Roman Empire, the man will be in this conversation. Coming off back-to-back Super Bowl titles, the two-time regular-season MVP (2018, 2022) received some much-needed reinforcements this offseason, too, in the form of Marquise Brown and deep threat Xavier Worthy, whom the Chiefs traded up for in Round 1 of last month's draft. As long as he's on the field, Mahomes can never be counted out of this award race.

Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals · MVP odds: +900

Thanks in part to the Bengals' unfortunate 2023 campaign, Cincinnati's schedule isn't quite as difficult as some of their division rivals' -- especially in the first six weeks. If Burrow comes out hot (and lights up Kansas City in Week 2 and/or Baltimore three weeks later), he'll throw himself squarely into the conversation with much of the season still left to play. It is about how you finish, though, and Burrow would have to avoid a Dak Prescott-in-Buffalo-like performance when the Bengals face -- naturally -- the Cowboys in December before finishing strong to seal the award. But all of the tools are there for Burrow, who missed all but five games last season due to injury, to thrive in 2024, with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in the aerial attack and an improved O-line. All of this, of course, is dependent on whether the fifth-year pro can stay healthy.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · MVP odds: +1000

He's a two-time MVP and the leader of a team that is expected to be in the thick of the AFC race once again in 2024. He's also one of the most electrifying players in professional sports. Health is the only question, and he just completed a full season after failing to do so in the previous two -- and won MVP. He'll have a lot of the same pieces around him this fall, but will also be joined in the backfield by two-time NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry. Like Mahomes, Jackson will always be in this conversation at this point in the year.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · MVP odds: +1000

Stroud had an outside chance of winning MVP in his NFL debut last season, ultimately settling for Offensive Rookie of the Year as a consolation. Houston responded by adding Stefon Diggs and Joe Mixon and drafting Stroud's old college buddy, tight end Cade Stover. Offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik already demonstrated a keen understanding of Stroud's abilities in 2023, so -- barring injury -- tell me why Stroud shouldn't be even better in 2024. And by better, I mean legitimately MVP good. Add in a schedule that includes a navigable first six weeks (including matchups with Chicago, Minnesota and New England), and I can see Stroud hopping into the race early.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · MVP odds: +2500

Despite finishing 2023 as the NFL's leader in passing yards, Tagovailoa seemed to fade out of serious consideration for MVP in late December. He just didn't pack the same kind of punch -- at least to the average fan -- that Jackson or Prescott did, or his supporting cast was held against him. (Tyreek Hill was an MVP candidate for a good chunk of the season.) Odell Beckham Jr. has joined the explosive Dolphins offense, and while he won't be a transformative addition at this stage in his career, he gives Tagovailoa another option. We should expect Miami's offense to be equally good in 2024. If the Fins can finally win the AFC East -- and if Tagovailoa can take the next step into the upper crust of quarterbacks -- we'll likely hear his name mentioned in this conversation.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · MVP odds: +1000

Like Mahomes and Jackson, Allen is always going to be among the quarterbacks considered for MVP. I'm worried about Buffalo's offensive potential without Stefon Diggs, but Bills fans are already primed to blast me online if first-round rookie Keon Coleman, a player Allen is excited to work with, replaces the departed star effectively. I'm not sold, but Allen is a special talent. I just hope the Bills don't keep asking him to do too much for them.

Anthony Richardson
Indianapolis Colts · MVP odds: +3000

Here's where it gets fun. Remember Richardson? You know, the pillar of a human with freakish athleticism who carried question marks into the 2023 draft, then promptly dunked on them in his first month of play? I sure do. Richardson's abrupt end to his rookie season may have made you forget about him, but I'm gearing up for a big year for the kid, who is playing for the right coach in Shane Steichen and has the chance to team up with rookie receiver Adonai Mitchell for plenty of alley-oops on the haters. Yes, I'm putting my stock in Richardson, Mitchell and the Colts, who also locked up the team's No. 1 receiver in Michael Pittman Jr. And if I profit, you'll hear Richardson mentioned among the top players in the league at his position.

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · MVP odds: +3500

Goff just secured the bag with a fantastic 2023 season, and his four-year, $212 million extension was the second win of the offseason. His first was offensive coordinator Ben Johnson's decision to walk away from head-coaching openings and return to Detroit. Everything is in place for Goff to pick up where he left off, and after throwing for 4,575 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2023, he'll be expected to do the same (if not more) in 2024. If he does, the Lions will remain a favorite in the NFC -- and Goff could find himself being considered for MVP.

Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers · MVP odds: +1100

Love's maturation over one season was a truly incredible process to witness. He evolved from a talented-but-self-sabotaging quarterback to one who couldn't stop producing viral footage, leading Green Bay to an upset playoff win over Dallas (and nearly another over the top-seeded Niners). Now, the Packers once again enter a season with legitimate expectations. If this 25-year-old signal-caller continues on this upward trend and limits his mistakes, we're going to know Love as one of the NFL's brightest young passers, and if the Packers win the NFC North, it's going to be because of Love's accomplishments.

Aaron Rodgers
New York Jets · MVP odds: +2200

Why not? Sure, he's 40 years old and coming off a torn Achilles, but there is no tomorrow for him and the Jets. They acted accordingly this offseason, adding Mike Williams and rookie Malachi Corley to fill out the receiver room, and invested in the offensive line to better protect the veteran QB. If the magic is still in Rodgers and the Jets stay healthy, we can expect the big things they failed to produce a year ago -- which means a subset of NFL fans will be pounding the table for Rodgers to win his fifth MVP.

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