By Justin Adams
DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum said he was “shocked” to find out the team had acquired Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco last week. Keenum, with his wife Kimberly by his side, made in his first public comments since the trade on the Sports Spectrum podcast.
“(Broncos General Manager John) Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do and I appreciate that, Keenum said in the podcast, which is available for viewing on YouTube.
“I was definitely shocked. It was a surprise for us. I think probably for the first day or so that’s kind of the way it was. For us we’re definitely disappointed, it’s not something that we wanted to happen. I know that everybody is doing their job and John feels like that was a way to help the Broncos out.
“So, for us, it’s another chapter in our lives and we’re going to roll with it. We’re going to approach this like I do everything in my entire life and it’s not by accident that this happened. This is just another chapter and another opportunity to overcome some adversity in my life.”
The Broncos signed Keenum to a 2-year, $36 million deal last year after he lead the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game in 2017. In the 14 games as a fill-in starter, the Vikings posted a 11-3 record as he threw for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and 67.6 completion percentage (2nd best in NFL).
Keenum couldn’t duplicate the same success this season with the Broncos. Starting in all 16 for the first time in his career, he threw for 3,890 yards with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions – as Denver finished with a 6-10 record and missed the playoffs for a third straight season. The Broncos haven’t made it to the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50.
Looking to make a move at quarterback, the Broncos reportedly traded one their two fourth-round draft picks for Flacco. The trade won’t be official until the first day of the new league year on March 13.
“I know my time with the Broncos has been really special, Keenum said. “I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I have absolutely been so proud to wake up every day and walk into that building and to represent the Broncos as their quarterback. I know the tradition and history that the Broncos have at quarterback especially and it was an honor to represent them.”
The Broncos could look to find a trade partner for Keenum or keep him in a quarterback battle with Flacco. If the team releases Keenum, he’ll count $10 million against the cap. The Broncos currently have $22.7 million available in cap space, the 21st most in the NFL. If Keenum is on the move again he would be playing for his fifth team in 9 seasons.
“It’s really open-ended right now. We don’t know what’s going to happen, there’s still a lot up in the air; this is really fresh. So a lot of these emotions that we’re talking about are still kind of going on, still happening. So who knows what’s going to be in store? I don’t for sure, God does. But we’ll be ready for whatever God has in store for us next,” Keenum said.