Hours before he is set to face the Philadelphia Eagles for a chance to send the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl, a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport detailed what quarterback Case Keenum could be headed for this offseason.
According to Rapoport, this offseason will see Keenum turn a major profit. While many expected there to be interest in the 29-year-old quarterback. Rapoport added that the possiblity exists for Minnesota to apply the franchise tag to Keenum.
A career backup for the majority of his career, an opportunity to make $23.6 million in 2018 is certainly an incredible staetment to read. But Minnesota's decision to never enter contract negotiations with Keenum's representatives this season have led to leverage building up on Keenum's side. He finished the regular season with a 67.7 completion percentage, over 3,500 passing yards and a 22-7 touchdown-interception ratio in 15 games.
If he can add on a trip to the Super Bowl, their first trip there since 1976 and it would make the team the first in the NFL's Super Bowl era to host the Super Bowl and play in it, could further add evidence for his case to receive a significant pay raise. On Sunday's Postseason NFL Countdown, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported there is further belief Keenum receives the franchise tag and Sam Bradford walks in free agency.
A situation where Keenum receives the franchise tag guarantees he would start the 2018 season as Minnesota's starting quarterback. The concern then comes with the departure of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who is leaving to be the New York Giants' head coach after he engineered a brilliant Vikings' offense this season.
The loss of Shurmur's scheme and play calling could prove to be a significant blow to Keenum. Before the 2017 season, Keenum's career line looked far worse and summed up why many viewed him as a backup. In 26 career games, Keenum held a 58.4 completion percentage, never finished with a 7.0-plus yards per attempt and held a 24-20 TD-INT ratio.
For dynasty owners who own Stefon Diggs, Keenum's potential return would further cloud his status for 2018 with the real chance Keenum regresses dramatically. Adam Thielen, Keenum's favorite receiver this season, could retain much of his fantasy value due to volume but carries risk due to the red flag potential for the quarterback's regression.