Case Keenum is anticipated to signal with the Denver Broncos when free agency formally opens Wednesday at Four p.m. ET. Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold, Kansas City Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher, Oakland Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez and Los Angeles Chargers reporter Eric D. Williams damage down how the AFC West will survey with a brand fresh starting quarterback in it.
Gutierrez: Let’s trip alongside with a solid zero.33 within the help of Inclined Man Rivers, who’s a doable future Corridor of Famer, and Carr, who completed tied for zero.33 in NFL MVP balloting as recently as 2016. But Keenum would be sooner than the unproven Mahomes, who may perchance perhaps non-public the most explosive weapons within the AFC West in Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce. Keenum’s handiest attribute may perchance perhaps just be his fresh protection.
Legwold: If it be the Keenum of 2017 and the Carr of 2017 — the Vikings went eleven-Three in Keenum’s 14 begins — it’s most likely you’ll well attach Keenum 2d within the division within the help of Rivers. But if coach Jon Gruden can kick-originate the Raiders’ offense (and Carr’s play on the side of it), Keenum may perchance perhaps well hump to No. Three. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders give Keenum a monumental gamble to flourish.
Teicher: On the backside. Undergo in mind, Keenum is going into a brand fresh machine with a a mode of crew. There may perchance be some transition with Mahomes taking up because the starter in Kansas City and Carr getting a brand fresh coaching workers in Oakland, but they are now not starting from scratch treasure Keenum. One more demand of about Keenum: If he’s able to carrying a crew to a title, why did the Vikings let him derive away?
Williams: I’d foul him zero.33, within the help of Rivers and Carr and sooner than Mahomes. Keenum had one dazzling season final yr with the Minnesota Vikings, but unexcited has a profession 86.zero passer score and has to expose that 2017 was no longer the exception, however the norm for how he’s going to play within the NFL.
Are the Broncos now the favorites to use the AFC West?
Gutierrez: Um, no. Now not rather. The Chargers ought to steer the pack, followed by a rejuvenated Raiders crew with Gruden lights fires under obvious gamers, after which, perhaps the Broncos, but largely thanks to their protection. While the Chiefs appear to be in complete rebuild on protection, they pause expose a ambitious offense. If nothing else, Keenum affords any other reason to query offensive fireworks within the AFC West.
Legwold: The Broncos unexcited non-public hundreds of questions to answer to on offense, given they pause no longer know who the five starters will be on the offensive line, or within the occasion that they are going to exchange running help C.J. Anderson, or who will be a viable No. Three diagram within the passing sport. Both the Chiefs (with Watkins and with out reference to defensive shortcomings) and Broncos may perchance perhaps just earn the Chargers, within the occasion that they play the equivalent potential they closed out 2017, to be the most balanced crew within the division. But if the Broncos place healthy on protection and Keenum is who they hope he may perchance perhaps furthermore be, they are going to compete for the division title.
Teicher: No. They unexcited non-public ground to duvet. Every crew unexcited has issues to unravel sooner than it will furthermore be declared higher than the others. Denver may perchance perhaps just unexcited non-public the most helpful protection within the division but offensively there may perchance be now not any longer ample spherical Keenum but to narrate the Broncos are going to be markedly improved on offense.
Williams: Denver is more healthy, but unexcited has so a lot of areas to accommodate in free agency and the draft, alongside with inconsistent offensive line play, its need for more playmakers on offense, and an aging protection. The Chargers and Chiefs non-public more talented rosters at this level and are higher quandary up to compete for a division crown.
Are the Broncos higher off with Keenum than they would had been with Kirk Cousins?
Gutierrez: Hmmm, is this a trick demand of? Sooner than final season’s step forward in Minnesota, Keenum’s profession memoir was a pedestrian 9-15. Cousins, within the meantime, is 26-30-1. And but … Cousins’ potential quandary seemed more developed as a elephantine-time starter over the previous three seasons, throwing for at least Four,000 yards and 25 TDs and completing finally sixty Four.Three p.c of his passes yearly all over that span. Keenum? He had a profession yr final season with Three,547 passing yards, 22 TDs and a Sixty seven.6 completion price in 2017. Cousins is the more polished product at the moment.
Legwold: Against the salary cap, yes. For their draft flexibility, yes. But Cousins is more of a known commodity as a quarterback, general, with three consecutive Four,000-yard passing seasons. The Broncos mediate Keenum is an ascending player who has stumbled on himself after his performance final season for the Vikings. Within the occasion that they’re dazzling, and they use the extra cap dwelling to add more to the offense besides snag one among the draft’s handiest gamers with the No. 5 general decide, then Keenum’s signing will be a use-use.
Teicher: That the Vikings would so willingly quit on Keenum affords me discontinuance right here. Washington moved on from Cousins, but handiest after it grew to change into sure he wasn’t going to signal long bustle and that they had secured his replacement in Alex Smith. The Vikings weren’t the principle crew to present up on Keenum, either.
Williams: Keenum is an acceptable match for what the Broncos are looking out to complete on offense thanks to his potential to throw and originate plays out of doorways the pocket. By signing Keenum to a more crew-expedient contract, this can enable the Broncos to pursue a mode of objects to beef up the roster’s general abilities. Keenum furthermore is a stunning locker-room guy and may perchance perhaps just mesh well with the crew.