Not everything that went wrong this season can be blamed on the veteran signal caller, but he does deserve some of the blame.
Take the first Kansas City Chiefs matchup where Keenum missed a wide-open Demaryius Thomas for a game-winning touchdown. Who knows how impactful that could have been to Denver’s season, just that one simple play?
There was also his penchant for taking drive-killing sacks (again, not all his fault), and his tendency to throw poorly-timed interceptions like in Sunday’s game when he threw an interception in the end zone against the Los Angeles Chargers.
That being said, there are some positives to what Case did this season and why he could improve next year. For example, there was the three-game winning streak where Keenum played mistake-free ball (three touchdowns and 550 yards) and had Denver vying for a playoff position with four games remaining. He also had a fantastic repertoire with Emmanuel Sanders (71 receptions, 868 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games), who was clearly missed the last quarter of the season when Denver lost four straight.
Lastly, with the firing of Vance Joseph, it’s important to realize there will likely be a new offensive coordinator in addition to a new head coach. What was most frustrating about Keenum’s performance this season was that it felt like he wasn’t being put in a position to succeed from the beginning.
Bill Musgrave ignored what made Keenum successful the previous year (short, up-tempo passing game) and instead had the offense attempting to move with more intricate, long-developing play calls.
Keeping Keenum is the most likely route at this point. He has one year left of his two-year contract, and his dead money would be $10 million if let go, and John Elway does a good job of monitoring and controlling the Denver Broncos dead money situation.
Moreover, bringing a new coach could bring a change in the offensive attack, and finally, this would be a long-term approach that has Denver looking towards the 2020 NFL Draft where there is expected to be quite a few high-quality quarterback prospects.