The Broncos have pulled it off. And Washington has pulled it off. And Case Keenum has pulled it off.
Thursday’s needle-threading trade solved a problem for all three parties, putting each in a better position than they would have occupied but for the trade.
Denver dumped Keenum’s $18 million base salary and, more importantly, reduced its 2019 obligation to Keenum from $7 million to $4 million. The Broncos also picked up a sixth-round pick in 2020 from Washington for a seventh-round pick in 2020.
Washington obtained a viable contender for the team’s starting quarterback job for only $3.5 million, with relatively minor draft-pick compensation. Now, Keenum can compete with Colt McCoy, and the better man will win the job. Washington also won’t have to use a high-round draft pick on a quarterback, or trade for Josh Rosen.
Keenum ends up with $500,000 more than he would have gotten if he’d been cut by Denver, given that he wouldn’t have gotten $7 million the open market. He’ll instead get $7.5 million, and he’s landing in one of the only spots where he has a reasonable chance to win the starting job.
And even though Keenum struggled last year in Denver, he had a great 2017 season in Minnesota. Keenum has a knack for escaping the pocket, moving laterally, buying time, and eventually finding wide-open receivers. In a favorable offense like the one that Jay Gruden runs, Keenum could be better than most expect.