Here we go.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that quarterback Case Keenum intends to sign a deal with the Denver Broncos once free agency officially opens up on Wednesday. It’s a move that will undoubtedly have wide-ranging ramifications that could have an impact impact on the NFC North, NFL Draft, and even the Chicago Bears. Let’s dig in.
Signing Keenum gives the Broncos a viable starting quarterback who went 11-3 as a starter and threw for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.
Additionally, Keenum’s signing takes the Broncos out of the hunt for Kirk Cousins. This development could ultimately leave the Vikings, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals as the primary suitors for the top-rated free agent quarterback. If Cousins signs with Minnesota, it would push them toward being favorites to win the NFC North for the third time in four years and could further build the Vikings’ case to be a Super Bowl contender.
Keenum is 30 and leaves the Vikings coming off a career year. Still, it’s fair to wonder if the real Keenum is the one who balled out in Minnesota or the guy who was 9-15 as a starter with a 58.4 percent completion rate and 78.4 passer rating. With that in mind, Keenum’s presence might not preclude Denver from drafting a first-round quarterback. If that’s how it played out, it would be good news for the Bears, who draft three spots behind the Broncos and would love to land one of the draft’s best non-quarterback prospects.
We’ll have a better idea of the potential impact on the draft once the terms of the deal are disclosed. If Denver’s investment in Keenum is a long-term one that makes him The Man, it could put the Broncos in play to draft the one of the best non-quarterback prospects in the draft. That would be bad news for the Bears. And considering the Broncos’ issues on the offensive line, they might be in the market to use their first-round pick on Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson – who has been often mocked to go to the Bears with the eighth pick.
Needless to say, we’ll keep an eye on the developing quarterback market because it will probably impact the Bears one way or another even though the team has their guy in place with Mitch Trubisky.