One of the NFL’s top free agents this cycle is suddenly off the market as quarterback Case Keenum intends to sign with the Denver Broncos once 2018 free agency officially begins on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Tuesday morning.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
Keenum last season led the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game for the first time since 2009, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The 30-year-old quarterback started 14 games and set career marks in 2017 after playing sparingly for the Texans and Rams during his five prior NFL seasons.
Case Keenum contract expected to be short term. It does not appear Broncos made serious run at Kirk Cousins. Keenum was target when negotiating window opened this morning. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 13, 2018
Keenum, who is 20-18 in his career as an NFL starting quarterback, will reunite with senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak, who coached Keenum in Houston for two seasons.
He will be joining a team that started Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler in games last season. The Broncos have Siemian, Lynch and 2017 seventh-rounder Chad Kelly under contract for 2018, and with Keenum taking over the starting job, at least one cut will have to be made. Lynch carries a bigger dead cap number ($4.46 million) than his current cap hit ($2.58 million), while cutting Siemian would save just over $1.9 million in cap space.
Kirk Cousins, who spent his first six NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins, is the top free-agent quarterback available (not counting Drew Brees, who is expected to remain in New Orleans). His market will likely come down to the Vikings, Jets or possibly the Cardinals.