Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports that the Broncos will pay $3.5 million of Keenum’s salary next season and that the draft pick swap will occur in 2020.
Keenum’s short stint in Denver
The deal ends a short tenure for Keenum in Denver after the Broncos signed him to a two-year, $36 million deal last offseason. His departure cleared the way for the Vikings to sign Kirk Cousins from the Redskins.
Keenum led the Vikings to the NFC championship game in his only season in Minnesota, raising his profile as a potential franchise quarterback.
But after posting a career-high 98.3 quarterback rating with 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions and 3,546 passing yards on a 67.6 completion rate in 2017, he regressed last season in Denver.
Keenum threw for 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with Denver totaling 3,890 yards on a 62.3 completion percentage as the Broncos completed a disappointing 6-10 season.
The deal leaves the Broncos looking to Joe Flacco at quarterback after a reported deal for the former Baltimore Ravens quarterback earlier in the offseason.
Washington was desperate after Alex Smith injury
For the Redskins, Keenum fills a void left by the devastating leg injury Alex Smith suffered last season that is expected to keep him sidelined in 2019.
Smith suffered a compound fracture in a Week 11 loss to the Houston Texans, and the team struggled to find a competent signal caller for the rest of the season. Washington lost six of its final seven games after Smith’s injury to finish 7-9 on the season
Colt McCoy took over for Smith before a leg injury of his own ended his season. Washington then looked to Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson with poor results.
Long-term outlook for both teams?
The deal doesn’t leave either team settled for the long-term at the quarterback, leaving open the possibility that either or both could look to the upcoming NFL draft for a signal caller.
With this year’s quarterback class viewed by scouts as a weak group, there may not be a player that either team covets where they pick.
The Broncos will have the 10th selection in the first round and Washington will select 15th.
Former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins are widely considered the best quarterback prospects in the draft and could be off the board by the time either team picks.
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