The Minnesota Vikings will be players in this year quarterback race after they will reportedly not franchise tag Case Keenum, who led the Vikings to the Conference Divison Championship. Keenum had a career season throwing for 3,547 yards, followed by 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He completed 325/481 passes for 67.6 percent, with a QB rating of 98.3, all career highs. He had the second best QB rating, he was able to back his statistics up by going 11-3 as a starter.
He was the third QB on the depth at the start of the season until Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford sustained injuries. Keenum made the most of his rare opportunity, he was able to turn heads with his game on the field. He quickly became one of the several hot quarterbacks who unexpectedly came off the bench to start for the Vikings.
The Vikings have been hesitated to name Keenum over Bridgewater, as the starter the whole season. Bridgewater will be a free agent, Bradford and Keenum will both likely hit the free agent market, as well.
Keenum will be added to the list of starting caliber quarterback entering free agency this season. The Houston product will generate a significant amount of interest from many teams in the NFL, to come in a compete for a starting spot. Case will have many suitors to choose from in the free agent market, here are the most likely teams he will play for next season.
Arizona CardinalsEmbed from Getty Images
The Cardinals will have to find an heir to the quarterback position after Carson Palmer abruptly announced his retirement. Arizona currently has 3 quarterbacks on their roster (Blaine Gabbert, Matt Barkley, Drew Stanton) however, none of them are talented enough to be the franchise guy for Arizona. They will have to look for their guy in either free agency possibly even in the draft. Free agency appears to be the route the Cardinals are very likely to go in.
The 30-year-old Keenum would be a interesting and enticing fit for the Arizona Cardinals. Keenum has the leadership and experience to lead the Cardinals as the starter. David Johnson, starting running back for Arizona Cardinals, will take some of the pressure of Case. They still have a talented team from the offensive perspective, with star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald returning for one more season.
The tools are in place for the Cardinals stay competitive for a wild card spot for the AFC. Using a first round selection wouldn’t be necessary for the Cardinals, signing Keenum would be the wise move. He has playoff experience the Cardinals would love to put to use.
Buffalo BillsEmbed from Getty Images
Buffalo had two picks in the first round, the 21st and 22nd pick. The Bills should look at using the picks to address another to strengthen, their team as a unit. They would be wise to address the quarterback in free agency rather than the draft. Tyrod Taylor is expected to be back for the next season, but I fully expect Buffalo to bring in another quarterback to compete for the starting spot.
Buffalo is a unique, but fitting team for Keenum to sign with. The Bills have a few playmakers that Keenum will be able to work with, wide receivers Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin. Currently starting running back, LeSean McCoy, seems to be in the plans for Buffalo. Pairing McCoy with Keenum with make Buffalo much more explosive and exciting team to watch out for in the AFC East.
Going with Case will be a smarter choice than risking your future for a shot at any of the quarterbacks in the draft. He will be viable starter for the Bills and will not surprise me if he can get them back right back to the playoffs.
Minnesota VikingsEmbed from Getty Images
Minnesota is without a doubt the best fit for Case to be on, it was shown last season. The Vikings need to come to their senses and sign Keenum to a long term deal, he has earned it on the field. I can understand why the Vikings are hesitant to make Keenum their guy, he is currently 30 years old. Last season was the first season he threw for double digit touchdowns.
The Vikings option A for me, is to target Kirk Cousins, whom has been reporting saying he will like to “play for a winner” However, Minnesota may not have quite enough money to entice the former Redskins quarterback. They shouldn’t break the bank for Cousins, when they can bring Keenum back for a cheaper contract. They have other needs to address with their money besides the quarterback position
I’m starting to have faith that he can be the guy with certain teams, we have seen the potential the Vikings have with Case at quarterback. Case returning to Minnesota will be beneficial for both parties. Minnesota gets their guy and Case gets the commitment he has been waiting for from a team in the league.