For anyone who pays at least passing attention to the NFL, it doesn’t take an information robot to point out the possibility that: (1) Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur could become a head coach of a new team; and (2) Shurmur could then recruit Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to join that team.
And if, as reported, Shurmur has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Bruce Arians in Arizona, it makes sense that the Cardinals could target Keenum. Especially since the Cardinals currently don’t have a quarterback under contract for 2018.
It also would make sense for Keenum to get serious consideration from the Cardinals, regardless of the Shurmur connection. In the five years of the Arians era, the Cardinals faced Keenum twice. In 2013, the then-Texans quarterback completed 22-43 passes for 201 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions in a 27-24 Arizona win. Last season, Keenum completed 18 of 30 passes for 266 yards (8.9 yards per pass), two touchdowns, no picks, and a passer rating of 111.3 in a 17-13 Arizona loss to the Rams.
Then there are the things Keenum has accomplished this year, during which he has become one of the most unlikely late-20s success stories since Kurt Warner. Unlike Warner, however, Keenum had plenty of solid performances in the past. With the Vikings, Keenum has become far more consistent.
And here’s the key: If the Cardinals are sold on Keenum, the Vikings may be even more sold on him, choosing to do whatever needs to be done to keep him around, up to and including application of the franchise tag. PFT has heard time and again that the Vikings won’t decide on a quarterback plan for 2018 until the 2017 season ends.
How it ends undoubtedly will be a major factor in whether the Vikings take any and all steps to keep Keenum off the open market.