The Browns have agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $18MM ($10MM guaranteed) with quarterback Case Keenum, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. While Cleveland is still heavily invested in quarterback Baker Mayfield, the team is making a heavy investment in ensuring they have a strong option behind him.
Keenum appeared set as a career backup after difficult stints as a starter with the Texans and Rams. In 2017 however, Keenum led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game and seemed to be a resurgent prospect. After struggling with the Broncos and Washington over the past two seasons though, Keenum’s market seems to no longer offer an opportunity to start.
Previous reports tied Keenum to the Browns and it is worth keeping in mind that the Browns new head coach and general manager were not with the organization when Cleveland selected Mayfield with the first overall pick in 2018. Mayfield looked like a franchise quarterback as a rookie, but after a difficult sophomore season, the Browns do have reasonable cause for concern.
Rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski was the quarterbacks’ coach with the Vikings when Keenum excelled in 2017. Keenum immediately becomes one of the league’s highest-paid backups and has a chance to reunite with a coach who helped him reach the peak of his career.