Could Case Keenum end up back in Minnesota?

Getty Images

With Joe Flacco in, Case Keenum is likely out in Denver. Could Keenum work his way back to Minnesota?

That possibility will be quickly dismissed because the Vikings have quarterback Kirk Cousins under contract for two more years, at fully-guaranteed compensation packages of $28 million in 2019 and $30 million in 2020.

But let’s not dismiss it immediately. If the Vikings could find a trade partner for the balance of Cousins’ deal, they’d take a cap hit of only $2 million (Cousins received a $3 million signing bonus). The question is whether someone would trade for Cousins’ remaining agreement, at $58 million over two years.

There are three teams to possibly watch in this regard. First, the Bengals. New coach Zac Taylor has worked for the past two years with Rams coach Sean McVay, who has worked with and who has a high opinion of Cousins. Taylor told PFT Live that he’ll be using McVay’s playbook as a starting point for the Bengals, which would make for a seamless transition, if Cousins were to land in Cincinnati.

Second, the Jaguars. Former Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is now the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. With DeFilippo also tied to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, the Jaguars could explore either — and they could leverage the Eagles against the Vikings in order to get the best possible deal.

Third, the Giants. Per a league source, Giants coach Pat Shurmur had lobbied for the Vikings to sign Kirk Cousins before Shurmur became the coach of the Giants. While that may not bode well for Keenum to become a candidate to be signed by New York, it could prompt the Giants to bring Cousins back to the NFC East.

Apart from Cousins’ contract is the compensation necessary to effect a trade. If the Vikings’ organization has come to the same conclusion that many Minnesota fans have — that Cousins may not be the guy — maybe the Vikings would take not very much at all in order to wipe Cousins’ contract off the books. Especially if new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski (who has been with the Vikings since 2006) believes in the guy who took the Vikings to the final four in 2017.

57 responses to “Could Case Keenum end up back in Minnesota?

  1. Wishful thinking from a Viking fan. They are stuck with his bad contract for two more years

  2. Boy that 1st in history fully guaranteed contract really came back to bite the Vikings in a hurry didn’t it? The Vikings should be forced to miss the playoffs the next 2 years with “You Vike that?” Cousins.

    All it takes is one idiot GM to ruin it for everyone. Good luck trading that contract but it only takes one.

  3. Although the cap hit obviously is much worse, and I don’t think Cousins is any great shakes, Cousins is better than Keenum as is easily seen by simply looking at past statistical years (including 2018). Besides, I bet Shurmur would rather have Keenum given their chemistry in 2017.

  4. Keenum had good chemistry with Diggs and Thielen, so if the Vikings were able to trade Cousins, I’d bring back Keenum to fight it out with Sloter for the starting job. Both of them combined wouldn’t cost as much as Cousins alone. Either way, the Vikings aren’t going to the SB with either one, so go the cheaper route with Keenum. I’ve been a fan for 32 years, and I’m tired of the missed opportunities this team gives us fans.

  5. Keenum is trash, defense and luck took us to the final for. If they bring Case back I will find a new team. Keenum is equal to Ponder with a little QB IQ

  6. If they were going to go to all this trouble, they should resign Teddy instead. Maybe try to bring Keenum in as a backup if possible. I honestly doubt anyone still believes Keenum is a starter going forward.

  7. nxtinline: Cousins DOES have a no trade clause. So they can’t send him to just anyone. They would have to send him to a situation where he would waive it.

  8. It’s laughable that the Viking fans don’t want him back. I am not saying he is the answer, I’m just saying he got the Vikings to the NFC championship game which is much further that Cousins brought the Vikings last year.

    My strategy for the Vikings is to bring Keenum back. Play Cousins in all the non-prime time games and against teams with a losing record because for whatever reason, he seems to play well when there is less pressure. Then play Keenum in the big games. Heck, he can’t be any worse than starting Cousi

  9. I know I’m in the minority of opinion here, but I actually think Cousins can be “THE guy” Just go back and read the comments from last year when they signed him. One year with a bad offensive line won’t be the full story. Give him a decent line, and a chance to improve his ball security, and let’s see what happens. Didn’t Eli Manning suck his first couple of years, before he went on to win two Superbowls.

  10. As a Redskins fan, I was never happy with how we treated Cousins, though I definitely felt he was not the answer. I was happy for him that he got his guaranteed money, but his first season with the vikings played out exactly as his last few did for us–he’s a good quarterback and can make a lot of regular season splashes, but he struggles in big time games. Some people thrive on those situations, such as Brady and Foles last year, but that never seemed to be the case for Cousins.

    I hope for his sake and Vikings fans that he’s able to prove me wrong next year and find success past the regular season. Won’t be holding my breath on that one, though…

  11. Let it be written then let it be done! A QB controversy in Minny between the overpaid junk stats man and the overpaid journeyman!

  12. I can’t see anyone willing to part with a draft choice for the privilege of renting Keenum for 1 year at $18 million unless their starter is Alex Smith. And even then it can’t be better than a 6th or 7th round.

  13. This would be as shocking as Barr ending up in Green Bay, and both are possibilities.

  14. Kirk Cousins: 70.1% completion rate, 4,298 yds, 30 TDs /10 Ints, 99.7 rating
    Case Keenum: 62.3% completion rate, 3,890 yds, 18 TDs /15 Ints, 81.2 rating

    Minnesota went 8-7-1 because the defense was atrocious in the first half of the season. The Vikings defense gave up 89 MORE points this year and 540 more yards, but as usual, Zimmer always blames everyone but himself.

    Seriously, Cousins was doing just fine with DeFilippo and throwing to Diggs, Thielen & Rudolph until Zimmer interferes and announces to the NFL world that they’re running the ball instead.

  15. Cousins can certainly play at a much higher level than he did last season in Minnesota. Definitely better than Keenum, but $10million/year better? Not so sure about that. They will have a very difficult, if not impossible, time finding another team to take on that contract. For that reason alone, I don’t see Keenum back with the Vikings in 2019.

  16. If MN had a decent line then Cousins would have had a much better season.
    If they had a good line, then in this upcoming second year with the offense, Cousins would have killed it.
    They need to spend the $ on the line or they will not be going anywhere no matter who is their QB.

  17. Ridiculous article. Fix issues with o-line and watch what happens. Losing their left gaurd to injury and the coach passing away to start the year had a lasting impact. Cousins is better than Keenum in every way except Keenum seems to have more fun. Cousins just needs to RELAX.

  18. Cousins is easily an upgrade over Keenum. Cousins needs a much better O line and so do the rb’s. The D gave up like another post said 85+ more points so this wonderful defensive coach didn’t get it done especially with all this money spent on defensive players & high draft picks on the defensive side of the ball. The D rarely got turnovers and that was a big part of the problem. The db’s rarely contested passes & only made tackles, it was WAY TOO much pitch & catch for the better opposing teams. Why does Zimmer not make more in game & in game adjustments sooner & faster. Why wait?

  19. You mentioned 3 teams. I think Arizona is a 4th. With a number 1 overall pick, and a staff that doesn’t seem sold on Rosen, they may do something off the wall.

  20. Was I the only person that was sure this article was going to be about Keenum coming back to be the backup to Cousins after being cut by the Broncos?

    I am no fan of Eli but I don’t think Keenum would be much of an upgrade.

  21. No one in their right mind is trading for Cousins. There would be nothing left of Cousins but teeth and hair by the time the NY media were finished with his mediocre play.

  22. Stop it. Everytime there is a quarterback possibly moving you speculate he will end up in Cincinnati. Not going to happen. For good or bad, the Bengals have Andy Dalton, who was in the MVP talk in 2015 before he broke his thumb and missed the rest of the season. He was having a great year this past year until all his receivers/tight ends were injured and then he was injured himself. Dalton may not be a top 5 QB, but he’s not a bottom-feeder, either. Zac Taylor likes Dalton, and Dalton has the history with the receivers on the team. They may not stay with Dalton long-terms, but the next move will be to draft a QB sometime in the next few years to be a successor. They are not going to bring in a veteran at a high price. They have other moves that need to be made to fill bigger holes than QB. Why keep up the narrative that every available QB will end up in Cincinnati? This has zero chance of happening.

  23. Cousins is a better QB than Keemun and it’s not close. However Keemun was pretty good at avoiding sacks and extending plays. That trait masked how bad the Vikings OL was/is. Cousins just needs better protection.

  24. The Vikings should still bring in Keenum. Its time to force Cousins into something he never had in Washington. A real QB competition. This will bring out the extra necessary motivation for Cousins to succeed.

  25. None of this makes any sense in the real world. Cousins is a better QB than Keenum, and without an O-Line, all of them stink. Spielman has neglected this patchwork O-Line for the better part of a decade, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

  26. If they could get him at the price of the current backup QB sure but the teams he’d be good for are the Giants or redskins for a lot of $.

  27. akira1971 says:

    Seriously, Cousins was doing just fine with DeFilippo and throwing to Diggs, Thielen & Rudolph until Zimmer interferes and announces to the NFL world that they’re running the ball instead.

    Case Keenum did fine as well… and lead them to an NFC title game for the 4th time since 1990…

  28. Anything is possible with this dysfunctional franchise. You could have a quarterback controversy between two quarterbacks who wouldn’t even start for most NFL franchises. I could picture the Vikings spending over $ 30 million on the quarterback position and then have the head coach demand they run the ball most of the time. 58 years of futility.

  29. There is no way he comes back. Too much money unless he takes a huge pay cut which is unlikely. It would be nice if he did as that would be a HUGE upgrade for backup as to having Siemian!

  30. I’d consider trading Cousins for a day 3 draft pick, but not for Keenum to return.
    The only ex-Viking QB I’d be happy to see back is Bridgewater.
    Keenum would be better off trying to get himself to the Giants as their backup, where he can once again team up with Shurmur.

  31. Guys, settle down. While Cousins had issues, you could make a case that he wouldn’t have lost as many fumbles had he not been running for his life all the time. There were also games that we lost that were not his fault. Green Bay comes to mind. Hell, he brought us back from the dead in that game, only to have our kicker miss kick after kick. He makes ONE of those 3 misses and we win. FIX THE O-LINE. If we fix the O-line, Cousins has a chance. If we DON’T fix the O-line, Tom Brady wouldn’t be able to get us to the playoffs.

  32. Look at the stats fans. Cousins is the better QB than Keenum. Just not mobile in the pocket. Our O-line has not been good in a while. Until we fix the O-line no QB will get us to the SB.

  33. If I was Keenum, NO WAY! Why go back to your ex who dumped you for a “better” guy?

  34. How does a team and GM go from making a absolutely ridiculous decision to pay an above average QB 80 Million guaranteed, to well maybe he’s not our man, in one year. You have set your franchise back 3 years at least with decisions like this. Why is this GM still employed ? I feel for the Vikings fans !

  35. Kirk is a really good QB, he just does not process information real fast which hurts against good defenses. (Not an issue against bad ones.) And he has the pocket presence of a tree. Pocket presence you either have it or you do not. Sean Salisbury was talking about this on the radio one day. Paraphrasing, ” He said you either have pocket presence or you do not. You cannot teach it. I did hot have it either.

  36. Besides the obvious, Oline, lets address the elephant in the room. Spielmans inability to but an entire team together. And a defense that let us down in Philly in 17 and in Chicago this year. In both games they needed to step up and it didn’t happen. They choked. this seems to be a Zimmer issue. The Bangles D seemed to disappear when they needed to step it up. And a BIG hell no to Case coming back to Minny.

  37. quickest way to ensure Spielmans marching papers….to admit Cousins was a mistake after year one. They need to get Cousins to a sports psychologist. Dude is wound way to tight….planning your day in 10 minute increments….thats psycho….

  38. Cousins gone, means keeping Barr and Richardson, as well as improving Oline in free agency. Draft a qb in the 1st, solid. Let’s do it!!!

  39. Fix that Offensive line! Spielman HATES to spend over 5th round picks (all that is left after every other decent starting lineman has been picked). a 1, 2, and 3rd rounder on the O line will fix it, and Cousins will look like the deal of the century. You could see he was scared for his life running any passing play last year . The O-line was the worst I have ever seen in Minnesota. Cousins is a great long ball passer but NO WAY 2.32 seconds until defenders sack him, can he pass longer than a 15 yard rout unless he scrambles for his life back there without being able to set his feet. That is also when they take 1 downfield target away to stay in and block!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.