Grading the Case Keenum deal for the Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins acquired Case Keenum via a trade. Here’s a look at the grade for the trade.
For the second consecutive offseason, the Redskins have made a deal to acquire a starting quarterback. After Alex Smith‘s season-ending injury last year, his future was in doubt. He is not expected to play in 2019 and beyond that, there is more uncertainty. However, the team did a bit to quell that in the interim.
On Thursday, it was reported that the Redskins had agreed to trade a sixth-round pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Case Keenum and a seventh-round pick. In addition to the trade, the Broncos will pay half of Keenum’s $7 million salary, meaning the Redskins will only have to pay $3.5 million for Keenum’s services.
This is a solid trade for the Redskins. Keenum isn’t the hottest name on the quarterback this offseason, but he is just one season removed from helping get the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. Last year, he was one of the top free agent passers on the market, but he lost a bit of his luster after the Broncos went 6-10 under his leadership last year.
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That said, Keenum was still decent at times last season. He threw for 3,890 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions while completing 62 percent of his passes. He had some bouts with inaccuracy that led to his turnover issues, but the fact of the matter is that he has arm talent and is capable of making plays. If he can level out under the tutelage of Jay Gruden and Kevin O’Connell, he should have a chance to improve in 2019.
Keenum doesn’t move the needle for the Redskins long-term. After all, he’s a 31-year-old fringe starter who has only found success as a starter in the past couple of years. But, at the level of compensation that they have given up, they couldn’t have acquired a better passer.
They’re only paying $3.5 million to Keenum. They only had to give up a sixth-round pick, and they even got a seventh-rounder in return. Keenum is better than any passer they could have drafted in the sixth round. He’s cheaper than any quarterback they could have paid $3.5 million to save for maybe Josh Rosen, who may not even be available and would cost significantly more draft capital.
And the truth is that acquiring Keenum won’t exclude them for trading for Rosen. Nor will it exclude them from selecting a quarterback early. It does take away the pressure to do that, but if the right value in either instance comes along, they’ll be able to jump.
Keenum adds a veteran to their quarterback room to compete with Colt McCoy. And he comes cheap. It’s not a flashy move and it’s not a game-changing move, but it’s one that should help the Redskins short-term while doing little to hinder any of their options in the present or future.