Denver Broncos: 2019 quarterback offseason primer

Sayre Bedinger
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Kevin Hogan #9 of the Denver Broncos throws as he warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Kevin Hogan #9 of the Denver Broncos throws as he warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Case Keenum
CINCINNATI, OH – DECEMBER 02: Case Keenum #4 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Case Keenum

At the age of 30, Case Keenum was expected to build off of a stellar 2017 campaign with the Minnesota Vikings where he was one win away from the Super Bowl.

It’s safe to say things did not go the way Keenum or the Broncos had hoped, not even in the slightest.

Despite some outstanding moments and riveting comeback victories, the majority of the 2018 season for Keenum was bad, and the Broncos can’t ignore it with him counting $21 million against the 2019 cap.

Keenum’s two-year, $36 million deal was structured in such a way to give the Broncos more space in 2018 on the cap, but Keenum’s deal is more than a little prohibitive for the team making improvements in 2019.

Coming off an 18 touchdown, 15 interception season, how can the Broncos justify $21 million for Keenum this year?

They can’t.

Keenum, given his performance last year, should be amenable to a contract re-structure, especially if it comes with some job security going forward. Of course, he’s probably not interested in sitting on the bench at this point in his career, but he will have the first crack at the starting job regardless of what players the Broncos bring in at this position over the course of the next couple of months.

Keenum has to prove he can be a fit for Rich Scangarello’s offense and he has to prove that the Broncos would be making a wise decision by starting him over some rookie.

If he can do that, Keenum can really ramp up his value heading into the 2020 offseason and his value to the Broncos and other teams around the league would increase.

Right now, all of those who doubted Keenum’s 2017 season as an anomaly appear to have been proven correct. It’s his job to prove he was worth the $36 million the Broncos invested.

The Broncos can get out of Keenum’s contract for the hefty price of $10 million in dead cap. Right now, it seems unlikely they will outright release him.

Finding a trade partner seems even more unlikely as a trading team would absorb an $18 million cap hit.

The best situation for the Broncos going forward would be a re-structure of Keenum’s current contract so the team can pursue other players in free agency, and Keenum can keep his starting job for another year.

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