- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Case Keenum trade is already polarizing to Redskins fans. 

Washington didn’t exactly inspire anyone when they agreed Thursday to acquire the 31-year-old from the Denver Broncos. But Keenum is an experienced quarterback who has had success before.

Here are some pros and cons to the deal:

Pro: Keenum could be a solid option for one season

Yes, Keenum isn’t bringing the same fanfare a Josh Rosen trade would have. Keenum, though, wasn’t terrible despite his struggles in Denver. He still threw for 3,890 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was even better in 2017 — when he led the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship.

If Keenum can replicate the success he had in Minnesota — though his supporting cast with the Vikings was much better — this deal would be very well worth it.

Pro: His reworked contract is very affordable

Keenum is joining the Redskins on a reworked one-year, $7 million deal. The Redskins will only pay $3.5 million of that deal, while the Broncos will cover the other half and a $500,000 signing bonus. That’s a bargain, especially for a cash-strapped team like the Redskins. Washington couldn’t afford to pay top tier money at the position with Alex Smith’s four-year, $94 million extension set to kick in next season.

Pro: The Redskins aren’t giving up much

With his reworked salary affordable, the Redskins didn’t give up much in the trade. They gave Denver a 2020 sixth-round pick and got back Keenum and a 2020 seventh-rounder. Keep in mind: They swapped sixth-round picks in 2018 with the Cleveland Browns for Kevin Hogan. To acquire a potential starter in another pick swap isn’t bad at all. 

Con: Redskins still lack a long-term answer at the position

Keenum and veteran Colt McCoy are under contract for only next season — meaning Washington will most likely have to address the quarterback position again this offseason or in 2020 unless Smith makes a miraculous recovery from a broken leg. It is not known whether Smith will ever play again.

According to ESPN’s John Keim, this trade doesn’t rule out the possibility of the Redskins still adding another quarterback. 

Con: What happened to the youth movement?

Doug Williams had this to say last week when discussing the quarterback position to reporters: “If we bring in a guy at this stage, 9 out of 10 [times] it’s going to be a young guy.”

Does that sound like Keenum? Williams, of course, isn’t the team’s ultimate decision maker — Bruce Allen is the team’s president. But if the Redskins don’t add a young quarterback this year, it’s easy to wonder what makes Keenum the “1 out of 10” in this scenario. 

Con: Keenum’s turnovers

Throughout last season, the Redskins praised Smith’s ability to protect the football. But in Denver, Keenum cost the Broncos wins with timely turnovers — throwing 15 interceptions total. He also fumbled 11 times, losing two of them. That will have to improve next season. 


• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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