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NFL News and Notes for February 4

After a couple of weeks of exciting football, NFL fans must now wait patiently for Super Bowl LVI as the league allows two weeks between the divisional round and Super Bowl.

Currently, the Rams remain the favorites at -200 to win, while the Bengals’ moneyline sits at +168. The spread features Cincinnati +4.5, and the over/under for total points is 48.5.

While most of the attention is on the upcoming game, there is plenty of news circulating around the NFL world. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories of the week.

Brady To Indeed Retire

After initial reports were deemed premature, Tom Brady announced this week that he will indeed by retiring from an illustrious 22-year career.

First breaking into the league in 2000 as a 23-year-old, Brady has won seven Super Bowl championships in his career. Arguably his best statistical season came back in 2007 with the Patriots, when he threw for 4,806 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions.

In total, he finishes his career with 84,520 yards passing and 624 touchdowns, both of which are NFL records.

Harbaugh To Stay In College, Vikings Pivot To O’Connell

Despite significant interest from the Minnesota Vikings, it appears that Jim Harbaugh will not be returning to the NFL.

It seems that annually there is interest in Harbaugh, who last appeared in the NFL as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. However, after guiding the Michigan Wolverines to the College Football Playoffs, it appears that Harbaugh is content with calling Ann Arbor home.

With Harbaugh opting out, Tom Pelissero of reports that it appears that the Vikings are prepared to pivot to Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell as their next head coach.

Since the Rams are still in the playoffs, a formal hiring cannot take place until after the Super Bowl. This season, O’Connell led the Rams to the sixth-best scoring offense in the league as the Rams are averaging 27.2 points per game.

The Vikings’ are +4100 to win the Super Bowl next season.

A Couple Quarterbacks Undergoing Surgery

Having led his team to the NFC Championship, Jimmy Garoppolo had a really strong season, especially when you take into account that he was injured.

On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Garoppolo will undergo surgery on his injured thumb. Having suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb, Garoppolo gutted through the last couple of months of the season.

This year, Garoppolo threw for 3,810 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions in 15 games. He also rushed for another three scores.

Garoppolo will be an interesting case to watch this offseason. While he led the team deep into the playoffs, speculation is that he will likely be traded so the team can move forward with Trey Lance.

Wanting to go to a contender, Garoppolo has a full no-trade clause that will allow him some control over where he goes.

For the 49ers, they are tied for the fifth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl next season at +1500.

Elsewhere, Kevin Patra of reports that Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts is also undergoing surgery. Hurts struggled with an ankle injury after hurting it in Week 12 against the New York Giants. Still, he went on to throw for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions this season.

Given how lethal he is with his legs, this surgery will be essential for a strong season next year. This season, he rushed for 784 yards and ten touchdowns, leading the team in both categories.

At +3300, the Eagles are currently tied for the 17th-best odds of winning the Super Bowl in 2023.

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