The Case for Keenum

Case Keenum is pretty much the definition of average. He’s mistake-prone and will never blow you away with his numbers or film.

But still, this trade is exactly what the Redskins need. They gave up absolutely nothing in a sixth round pick and got back a quarterback that led the Vikings–a team Kirk Cousins couldn’t even get to the playoffs–one game away from the Super Bowl and a seventh round pick. It’s an extremely low-risk move that keeps the Redskins financially flexible in the long-run.

Keenum will only be a bridge quarterback to the 2020 draft and nothing more. The trade sends a seemingly clear message that Washington will not select a quarterback in the first round this year. Presumably, Washington will wait a year and then go after Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jake Fromm, all of whom are widely considered better prospects than anyone in this year’s class.

In addition, with the 15th pick this year, the Redskins will be able to address other needs and build a stronger foundation for a new franchise quarterback. With Preston Smith likely leaving in free agency and the loss of DJ Swearinger and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Washington can now target players who could be elite contributors for years to come.

Prospects like edge-rushers Clelin Ferrell and Rashan Gary, inside linebacker Devin White or defensive back Deandre Baker— at least one of whom will most likely still be on the board at 15. The Redskins could also select a dynamic receiver like Marquise Brown, AJ Brown or DK Metcalf which would once again, put Fromm, Tua or Herbert in a much better situation to succeed.

Furthermore, after restructuring, Keenum will only cost the Redskins $3.5 million in 2019. This is an extremely low-risk, medium-reward move. Besides a trade for Josh Rosen—which would’ve required giving up a third-round pick or better—the Redskins couldn’t have gotten a better quarterback for less. Teddy Bridgewater for example will easily fetch over five million this offseason but has almost the exact same career passer rating as Keenum.

This move understandably will frustrate some fans. Keenum is by no means the long-term answer at quarterback and this move likely means the Redskins will be an under-500 team next year. However, after years and years of different quarterbacks burning out, Washington must be patient and stick with Keenum for a year, then draft a truly elite and traditional franchise quarterback in Fromm, Tua or Herbert.

-Sam Shiffman

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