Case Keenum Rides Again

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
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Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum still maintains a cherished spot in the hearts of purple fans, and on Monday, the 35-year-old found a sort-of new NFL home.

Keenum will reportedly join the Houston Texans. a reunion for the quarterback who spent his first two seasons as a pro with the franchise.

Case Keenum Rides Again

Texans reporter John McClain tweeted Monday, “The Texans have agreed to sign Case Keenum to a two-year contract as their backup QB behind the second overall pick in the draft. The deal can’t become official until the start of free agency on Wednesday.”

Case Keenum Rides
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Keenum joins a crowded Texans QB room with incumbent starter Davis Mills and recently-acquired E.J. Perry — with a side dish of the club likely spending its first draft pick on a quarterback in 45 days. Houston has the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft and is expected to draft who the Carolina Panthers do not with the selection. Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are the frontrunners to lead the Texans into the future after a messy end to the Deshaun Watson era last offseason.

A journeyman, Keenum could reasonably be the “patchover quarterback” in Houston to Young or Stroud. Davis Mills is the likeliest candidate for the gig, but it would not be jaw-dropping for Keenum to win the job this summer.

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Keenum was treasured by Vikings fans, mainly because his rise to temporary stardom was unforeseen. In 2017, QB1 Sam Bradford was lost for the season — and essentially his career — to a knee injury, and Keenum took over with little fanfare. Before and after his Vikings stint, Keenum never caught on with a team as a consistent performer.

But inside the 2017 season, Keenum was superb, showcasing a playground-like knack for distributing the football, and Stefon Diggs, plus Adam Thielen, feasted. The Vikings finished 13-3 in 2017 behind a murderous defense led by the prime versions of Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Linval Joseph, and others.

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Keenum was cut loose immediately after the storybook season, as then-head coach Mike Zimmer was never particularly enamored with his style. He landed with the Denver Broncos thereafter and struggled to remain the team’s QB1. Keenum later joined the Washington Commanders and failed to catch on as the starter. Then, he embarked on back-to-back QB2 assignments in Cleveland and Buffalo.

All told, Keenum has played for the Texans (three separate times after Monday’s news), Rams, Vikings, Broncos, Commanders, Browns, and Bills.

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Since leaving the Vikings in 2018, Keenum ranks 40th out of 43 QBs via efficiency [EPA+CPOE (min. 900 plays)]. Out of 39 quarterbacks with at least 900 passing attempts since 2018, Keenum has the NFL’s fourth-worst passing rating (84.1). Teams led by Keenum are 9-17 (.346), a win-loss record that ranks fourth-worst in the NFL during the timeframe.

Former Vikings running back Mike Boone also signed with the Texans on Monday.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by