Case Keenum Signs 1-Year Contract with Vikings After 2 Seasons with Rams

Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15:  Quarterback Case Keenum #17 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 15, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Case Keenum era is over for the Los Angeles Rams.

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Monday that Keenum had signed with the team. Adam Caplan of ESPN reported on March 31 the deal was for one year and worth $2 million with incentives.

Keenum made 10 appearances in his second year with the Rams. He threw for 2,201 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His 76.4 passer rating was 27th in the NFL, while Football Outsiders ranked him 31st out of 34 qualified quarterbacks in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement).

Reflecting on the Rams' underwhelming return to L.A., Keenum remained positive about how everything played out, per the Los Angeles Times' Gary Klein: "Off the field, a lot of really good stuff—we had some great moments on the field, too. So you try to take away some good things and learn from what you didn’t do well. And improve on how you played, certain areas you can work on in the offseason, and you come back a better man for it."

Despite the fact he was arguably the Rams' best quarterback in 2016, the die was largely cast on Keenum's future when the team named Sean Mannion as their backup in Week 16.

The arrival of Sean McVay as head coach also showed that Los Angeles is firmly focused on the future.

Jared Goff is the Rams' long-term starting quarterback, while Mannion appears to be the preferred backup option.

Letting Keenum go also helps Los Angeles avoid a potential headache in 2017. Because of the extent to which former head coach Jeff Fisher bungled the transition from Keenum to Goff, Keenum's mere presence would've been an unnecessary distraction to Goff in his second season.

The second Goff began to struggle, the fans likely would've begun questioning whether Keenum would assume starting duties.

With Mannion, who has made two appearances between 2015 and 2016, that's far less of a threat.

For the Vikings, Keenum's arrival will stabilize their quarterback depth. 

This past year was a prime example of how a strong backup quarterback can be important. The Oakland Raiders went from likely AFC West champions to exiting in the wild-card round after Derek Carr's injury.

Keenum may only be a league-average NFL quarterback, but he's a more than capable passer in case of emergency.