It may not be who everyone was expecting, but the Denver Broncos found their QB in free agency.
Despite being linked to former Washington QB Kirk Cousins even before the regular season ended, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday night that when free agency starts on Wednesday, the Broncos are expected to sign the man who engineered the Minnesota Miracle to stun the New Orleans Saints in January. Denver landed Case Keenum.
Benjamin Allbright reported the details early Tuesday morning:
The signing may come as a surprise to many, seeing as the Broncos were a favorite to land Cousins. This could also end the possibility of the Broncos drafting a quarterback with the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, considering how much money the team will be committed to paying Keenum.
Keenum, who will be joining his fifth different team since 2014, has never been one of the game’s elite quarterbacks.
Not until 2017, that is.
After going 4-5 with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, Keenum joined the Minnesota Vikings last season and led them to an 11-3 record, and into the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He threw for 3547 yards and 22 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions, and had a 67.6 completion percentage.
Keenum obviously did enough in 2017 to raise his stock, but there are always question marks surrounding big signings such as this one.
Keenum was helped by a defense that ranked first overall in the NFL, according to ESPN.com. The Broncos, on the other hand, came in at third overall in those rankings. With the loss of veteran cornerback Aqib Talib, though, the Denver defense will only get younger this year, and could regress.
There is still hope for Broncos fans, though. Keenum presents a significant upgrade over the quarterback carousel made up of Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch that Denver had to utilize last season.
Keenum brings proven postseason experience and success to a young and relatively inexperienced corps. He could be a valuable mentor to the younger players, as well as serving as a rock at an unsteady position for the Broncos since Peyton Manning retired.