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Case Keenum Contract Details

UPDATE: March 16 – It took a while, but Mike Klis finally comes through with the numbers:


Keenum’s contract table is as follows, beyond the fold:

Year Base Salary Prorated Bonus Roster Bonus Cap Number Dead Money & Cap Savings
2018 $8,000,000 $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $15,000,000 $25,000,000 ($10,000,000)
2019 $18,000,000 $3,000,000 $0 $21,000,000 $10,000,000 $11,000,000

Here are my early takeaways from this structure:

  • Keenum’s 2018 cap number of $15 million is quite reasonable, but I worry a bit about the 2019 number of $21 million, because 2019 is a year I foresee in which the Broncos are going to be strapped for cap space. This is increasingly true due to the restructure of Von Miller that sent an extra $4 million of cap dollars to 2019. I am guessing that the Broncos are planning that if Keenum plays very well in 2018, they will extend him with the added goal of reducing his 2019 cap number at the same time. If Keenum does not play well or is outplayed by a young quarterback, they can instead cut him.
  • And on the topic of cutting in 2019, Klis suggests that “this is [an] ironclad 2-year deal”. But I’m not seeing it in this structure. $11 million is still a significant chunk of cap savings to be had even if the Broncos have to carry a $10 million dead money figure. If Keenum truly is a one year wonder, the contract is not as much of a disaster to escape from as, say, what the Texans offered Brock Osweiler.
  • Another option to part ways with Keenum in 2019 is via a trade. The Broncos would be relieved of the salary guarantees on Keenum’s 2019 year in such a move. This scenario could play out if Keenum plays OK or very little and a young quarterback plays much better.
  • As such, this contract does not preclude the Broncos from drafting a rookie quarterback. I realize this has been a point of contention on this site in recent weeks, and I will not offer a new opinion on this divisive subject yet. All I want to do is note its possibility.