Case Keenum, then the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, celebrates a win over the New Orleans Saints in last year's playoffs. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Turns out, he was the Denver Broncos best-Case scenario.
The Broncos and free agent quarterback Case Keenum agreed on a two-year contract Wednesday, the first official day of NFL free agency.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Broncos will also send the Vikings a late-round pick this year and Denver would receive an undisclosed pick in the 2019 draft.
This year, Keenum emerged as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and threw for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions while helping to lead the Vikings to the NFC Championship game.
Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Wednesday that the Broncos were finalizing a trade that would send their former starting quarterback Trevor Siemian to the Minnesota Vikings.
Siemian will presumbably back up newly-signed Kirk Cousins. Cousins and Siemian both have the same agent, Mike McCartney, who is the son of former CU head coach Bill McCartney.
Also on Wednesday, the Broncos made it official and traded cornerback Aqib Talib to the Rams for a 5th round draft pick this year.
And after losing linebacker Corey Nelson to the Eagles, the Broncos and Todd Davis agreed to terms on a reported three-year contract.
Davis started for the Broncos the last three years.
In another move, the Broncos agreed to terms on a deal with cornerback Tramaine Brock. He saw limited action with the Vikings last year after spending seven years with the 49ers. Brock could be in line to compete for the Broncos' slot corner position.
Bradley Roby will move out and replace the departed Talib which opens up a spot inside when the Broncos go with three cornerbacks.
One of the longest-tenured Broncos, tight end Virgil Green, has agreed to a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. Green was with the Broncos for his entire seven-year NFL career.
Agreed to terms with @casekeenum7 on a two-year deal. He’s a great fit for us and is coming off a tremendous season. Excited to add Case's leadership, competitiveness and experience! pic.twitter.com/8uvbi4G6Mt— John Elway (@johnelway) March 14, 2018
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Minnesota. Some of the most incredible, crazy, miraculous moments of my life happened this past year. Couldn't of happened without y'all. Made this Texas boy feel right at home. pic.twitter.com/873ALZbLM4— Case Keenum (@casekeenum7) March 14, 2018
Virgil Green has been tied with Von Miller, Chris Harris Jr. for second-most seniority on team. Demaryius Thomas was 2010 first-roudn draft pick. Green a 7th rounder; Harris undrafted. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 14, 2018
BRONCOS AGREE TO TERMS WITH UNRESTRICTED FREE-AGENT QB CASE KEENUM
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Wednesday agreed to terms with unrestricted free-agent quarterback Case Keenum on a two-year contract, President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway announced.
COMMENTS FROM PRESIDENT OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS/GENERAL MANAGER JOHN ELWAY:
“Case is a great fit for us. He’s coming off a tremendous season last year and has obviously been through a lot of situations throughout his entire career. Along with that experience, his leadership and competitiveness are what you look for in a quarterback. Case has fought and battled for everything that he’s earned in the NFL, and it’s exciting to add someone with that type of mentality to our team.”
COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH VANCE JOSEPH:
“Case is perfect for our team, both as a player and as a person. He’s playing the best football of his career right now and has gotten better with every opportunity he’s had. Being around him in Houston, Case is a tremendous person and teammate with strong leadership skills and a terrific work ethic. He’ll be great in our locker room, and we’re all looking forward to having him as a Bronco.”
Keenum (6-1, 215 pounds) is a sixth-year player who has started 38-of-41 regular-season games and two postseason contests during his first five NFL seasons with Minnesota (2017), St. Louis/Los Angeles (2014-16) and Houston (2013-14). He entered the NFL with the Texans as a college free agent from the University of Houston in 2012.
In 41 career regular-season games, Keenum has completed 779-of-1,258 passes (61.9%) for 8,881 yards with 46 touchdowns and 27 interceptions (86.0 rtg.). He also completed 53-of-88 passes (60.2%) for 589 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions (73.5 rtg.) in two postseason starts.
Keenum set career highs in every passing category with the Vikings in 2017, completing 325-of-481 passes (67.6%) for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions (98.3 rtg.). He was 12-4 overall as a starter for Minnesota, leading the franchise to an NFC North Division title and its first conference championship game berth in eight years.
Keenum’s 67.6 percent completion percentage ranked second in the NFL in 2017 while his seven interceptions tied for the third fewest in the league among passers with at least 400 attempts. He played an NFL-high six games without being sacked in 2017 and finished the year with only 22 total sacks.
Starting 14-of-16 games played for the Rams from 2015-16, Keenum combined to complete 272-of-447 passes (60.9%) for 3,029 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions (79.5 rtg.). He was acquired by the Rams in a trade with Houston prior to the 2015 season.
Signed by Houston as a college free agent in 2012, Keenum spent his rookie year competing on the Texans’ practice squad. He started eight games for Houston in 2013, completing 137-of-253 passes (54.2%) for 1,760 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions (78.2 rtg.).
He spent time on St. Louis’ active roster and practice squad in 2014 before signing back with Houston and starting the team’s final two games that season.
During his career at the University of Houston, Keenum became the NCAA’s all-time leader in passing yards (19,217) and passing touchdowns (155). The recipient of the 2009 and 2011 Sammy Baugh Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top college passer, Keenum is the only player in NCAA history to post three seasons with at least 5,000 passing yards.
Keenum attended Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas, and was born on Feb. 17, 1988, in Brownwood, Texas.
BRONCOS TRADE CB AQIB TALIB TO L.A. RAMS FOR 2018 FIFTH-ROUND DRAFT CHOICE
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Wednesday traded cornerback Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams for a fifth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway announced.
“We’d like to thank Aqib for being such an important part of our team during his four seasons as a Bronco,” Elway said. “He brought a confidence, attitude and big-play ability to our defense that helped us win a lot of games, including Super Bowl 50. All of us have a lot of great memories from Aqib’s time in Denver, and we wish him the best in Los Angeles.”
Talib, who wrapped up his 10th NFL season in 2017, spent the last four years with the Broncos after being signed by the team as an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
A 2016 First Team All-Pro selection by the Associated Press, Talib made the Pro Bowl in each season with Denver, joining cornerback Champ Bailey and safety John Lynch as the only players in franchise history to earn a Pro Bowl selection in their first four years with the Broncos.
He finished his Broncos career starting 58 regular-season games and totaling 183 tackles (150 solo), 11 interceptions (384 yds.), 48 passes defensed, one sack (8 yds.) and two forced fumbles. He returned six of his interceptions for touchdowns to set a franchise record and add to his career total of 10 that ranks fourth in NFL history.
Talib also started four postseason games for the Broncos, posting 18 tackles (17 solo) and seven passes defensed. He totaled five solo tackles and two passes defensed in Denver’s Super Bowl 50 win against the Carolina Panthers to cap the 2015 season.