Cleveland Browns overpay for former Viking’s QB Case Keenum

Cleveland Browns Case Keenum (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Case Keenum (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

In a move that Kevin Stefanski probably wanted, the Cleveland Browns overpay Case Keenum to bring him in as a backup for Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns have made a splash in day one of free agency by acquiring a couple of former pro bowlers in Jack Conklin and Austin Hooper, but it’s still Cleveland apparently. Add a ‘wtf’ move to their stellar first day of free agency in signing Case Keenum to a massive deal, for a backup quarterback. Keenum will be paid $18 million over three years with $10 million guaranteed. For $4 million more a year, the team could’ve re-signed the defensive leader of the team and a former Pro Bowler in linebacker Joe Schobert. Nope, instead, the team is now paying their backup quarterback more in base salary than what their starting quarterback makes.

Here we go again.

Keenum has been a below-average quarterback in all but one of his eight seasons in the league. The one year he wasn’t completely overhyped was in Minnesota in 2017, when he helped the Vikings get the NFC Championship game. His quarterback’s coach that year was new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski. So there’s an obvious reason why Keenum was brought in.

Following 2017, during his stints in Denver and Washington, he went 7-17 but did throw 29 touchdowns to 20 interceptions in that period, so as far as a viable backup, Keenum is just that.

A backup.

Yet, paying a backup quarterback $6 million a year? What? Who made that call. You could go get the XFL’s Josh Johnson for a handshake and an egg sandwich. Why waste that much money on a player who will probably never play? Not when there are so many more important holes on the team to fill.

Yes, getting a backup was important. Yes, Keenum is a fine backup. No, Keenum is not worth $18 million to be a backup. Yes, you have to overpay for free agents, it’s just how it is, but if Keenum’s price was this high, a less expensive option would’ve been the answer. I don’t think Marcus Mariota would’ve asked for this much. Honestly, he shouldn’t, either.

Yet, when you look at the reason the Chicago Bears are allegedly pursuing Jacksonville’s Nick Foles, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton or former Viking and New Orleans quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is because they don’t know if Mitch Trubisky is the guy. They’re willing to spend on a backup quarterback like Tennessee did last year with Ryan Tannehill, in order to put together a winning squad. Guys like Dalton, Foles and whoever would be there to compete with Trubisky.

Mayfield is the second-best statistical player at the quarterback position in thirty years for this franchise. There is no reason to even consider putting him in a camp to have him ‘compete’ for his job, so bringing in the same type of player behind him is ridiculous. The team isn’t looking to replace Mayfield. Yet, here is $6 million wasted.

Because Cleveland.

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