Saturday, July 2, 2022

Experienced quarterback subtly shades Browns after ‘surprise’ trade

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The Cleveland Browns remodeled their quarterback space this offseason, which included shipping veteran reserve player Case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills.

For Keenum, being shipped off via trade, his ideal was going ashore with a team that wanted him enough to trade for him – even though it was only a seventh-round pick.

“Honestly, for a team to get you and not be released and sign somewhere, they wanted me, they acted for me. It feels great to have a team like this, the caliber of the players, the talent on the team, the type of offense they run, what Josh (Allen) accomplished,” Keenum told the Buffalo News. “Being able to come and learn and expand my game and push myself out of my comfort zone and learn a new offense has been really good. I really enjoyed it. It might have been a bit of a surprise back then, but man is it packed with excitement, ready to go. I was excited to come and work here. It was a great spring.”

Keenum has been an expensive replacement for the Browns for the past two seasons on an $18 million contract. But it’s fair to say that at times Keenum didn’t feel wanted in Cleveland when the Browns decided to run a very battered Baker Mayfield all over him. When asked about it at the end of the season, Keenum declined to answer.

Keenum is a journeyman and the Browns were his fifth team in five seasons when he signed. However, he is a backup option with experience who can hold the fort, at least in an emergency. The Bills needed a backup for Josh Allen after seeing Mitch Trubisky land in the AFC North with the Steelers.

Prior to the Browns, Keenum had last played with Washington, starting eight games. Keenum went 1-7 in his starts and went for 1,707 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. Keenum started in 30 games in his last two seasons before landing in Washington with the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings. In 2017, he beat Minnesota 11-3 and helped lead the team to the NFC Championship game.

Keenum’s best year in yardage was two seasons ago in Denver with 3,890 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 16 starts. Keenum also spent time in Houston and with the Rams.

So far, Keenum and Allen have worked well together in Buffalo.

“Golf, humor and personalities, we’re a pretty good match,” Allen said via video conference. “He’s a great guy, he’s been in the league for a long time, he knows a lot of different things. He’s been involved in several offenses and he knows how to deal with guys so I can lean on him a lot when it comes to things I see, things he sees.

The Browns making a move for Deshaun Watson was the catalyst for the reshuffle of the QB space, which was an interesting process. Baker Mayfield remains on the list as the Browns are unable to find a trading partner and Watson’s future remains uncertain with an NFL suspension looming.

Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs make up the rest of the QB depth chart in Cleveland. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has expressed that he would be comfortable with Brissett starting and Dobbs retiring.

“I have faith in Jacoby. For a young player, he played a lot of football. He’s a smart player. He takes care of football. Good size, can do all casts and things like that. He committed multiple offenses,” Stefanski said during the mandatory minicamp. “Our offense is a bit different than what he’s done before, but he has a really, really good understanding of football – football intelligence – so I just think he’s a really good operator.”

The Browns currently have +230 to win the AFC North, behind the Bengals (+195) and Ravens (+185).

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