Case Keenum trade a win for both Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Broncos traded quarterback Case Keenum after one season as a Bronco this week. While the trade signals a failed signing, it also benefits both sides.

After one season, the Case Keenum era for the Denver Broncos is (almost) officially over. On Thursday, the Broncos agreed to send Keenum and a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Washington Redskins for a 2020 sixth-round selection.

As part of the deal, the Broncos gave Keenum a $500,000 restructuring bonus, while the Redskins will pay half of his remaining $7 million in guaranteed salary. All told, the Broncos will have a dead cap hit of $7 million, a drop from the original $10 million.

The deal appears to be a win-win for all sides. Keenum gets more money with the bonus, and potentially a chance to start with the Redskins (something Denver wouldn’t offer him after trading for Joe Flacco), as he will likely compete with Colt McCoy for the job. The Broncos, meanwhile, gain more cap flexibility as John Elway moved deeper into what some are calling his defining offseason with the team.

More from NFL Spin Zone

Of course, neither the Flacco deal, nor the Keenum trade can be made official until March 13 when the new league year begins. Meanwhile, Keenum commented on the Flacco trade while speaking on the Sports Spectrum Podcast:

"“I was definitely shocked,” Keenum said. “It was a surprise for us and I think probably for the first day or so that’s kind of what it was. But for us, we’re definitely disappointed. It’s not something we wanted to happen. I know that everybody’s doing their job and John feels like that was a chance for him to help the Broncos out.”"

The move continues what has become a continually bizarre few seasons since Denver won Super Bowl 50 and Peyton Manning retired. When Keenum was signed to a two-year deal last offseason, Elway hailed him as the “perfect fit” for the Broncos. This came after Denver started four quarterbacks over the previous two seasons, signing Mark Sanchez, failing to lure Colin Kaepernick and the busted pick that was Paxton Lynch, who was released after just two seasons.

Keenum had just finished the finest season of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, and things were supposed to change. But Keenum’s sole season in Denver resulted in a 6-10 record as he woefully underperformed in the orange and blue. With Vance Joseph out the door and a new staff in place, the Broncos quickly made the deal for Flacco and the revolving door under center spun once more.

The pair of moves put Denver in an interesting position heading into free agency and the rest of the offseason. With Flacco, the team has a starter, for now, but still no long-term answer. It lost a potential backup in Keenum, but could still keep Kevin Hogan around. It could also be argued that there is even more pressure to select a quarterback in the upcoming draft, even if not in the first round.

The Broncos hold the No. 10 pick this year, and hope Flacco leads them to a better record in 2019, which would mean less of a chance at a top-tier quarterback in 2020.

But the Broncos also have several other holes to fill, most notably at inside linebacker, corner and the offensive line. An early-round quarterback may just not be in the cards this year unless something unexpected happens. Elway has taken a defensive player in six of his eight drafts as general manager, and won’t hesitate to do so again.

Next. NFL Free Agency: Early predictions for top 10 players. dark

Until that point, though, both the Broncos and Keenum are in better places after a star-crossed signing that wasn’t meant to be. Elway has his new quarterback, his new system and renewed hopes for better times ahead. Keenum has a chance to once again prove he can recapture his Minneapolis Magic.