If the Minnesota Vikings want Case Keenum back in free agency, Mike Zimmer is hiding it pretty well. He asked a pretty harsh question about Keenum…
For a guy that helped win 12 of his 16 total starts in 2017 (including playoffs), Case Keenum sure doesn’t seem to be getting much respect from his head coach with the Minnesota Vikings, Mike Zimmer.
Despite playing at a borderline MVP level for the Vikings last season, Zimmer would never fully commit to Keenum as the team’s starting quarterback, and that kind of treatment throughout the season could play into Keenum’s ultimate decision, whether or not the Vikings are able to land Kirk Cousins in free agency.
Zimmer’s comment about Keenum — rather, a harsh question — has got me thinking the marriage between Keenum and the Vikings is all but over:
I suppose this seems like a fair question for the media to ask, but coming from the head coach that has been around the guy for an entire season, who watched him work on a daily basis, it seems a bit unfounded.
I would have expected Zimmer — or any coach for that matter — use a little more coach-speak in this type of situation, but perhaps Zimmer is confident enough about the Vikings’ chances to land a bigger fish in free agency that he doesn’t really care about the repercussions of saying something like this.
If you want to read into it this way, Zimmer could be publicly driving down Keenum’s value a bit here to help the Vikings out in negotiations. That would seem like a pretty weird tactic, but it’s possible the Vikings are doing anything they can to get Keenum’s average pear year demands to come down before the start of free agency.
Why would they be motivated to do that?
Well, Keenum proved this past season he can lead a team pretty far in the playoffs. The Vikings had a great team around him, sure, but it would be ridiculous to pretend that they just carried Keenum the whole way. He was putting up some big time numbers throughout the season, and that drive at the end of the game against the Saints was incredible.
Keenum is likely to draw interest from a variety of teams around the league, so the Vikings want to ensure they can get him — or any other quarterback — at the right price to keep this great core of players in-tact.
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Adding Kirk Cousins to the mix would probably improve the Vikings overall, but is Cousins at $30 million per season enough of an upgrade over Keenum at at least $10 million less per year to justify letting go of one of your top defenders in the coming years?
I’m not so sure, and I don’t know if the Vikings are either.
Keenum and Cousins are roughly the same age, looking for the same years on a deal. They’d both probably like to cash in one more time in their careers, but Keenum has made a mere fraction of the guaranteed money to this point that Cousins has. Perhaps Keenum would go for less in total money and average on the cap and give the Vikings more years and an opt-out, but take a nice guarantee up front.
There are a lot of factors at play here, but sort of questioning a guy like this to the public doesn’t seem like the wisest move to me.