Philadelphia Eagles: The case to trade for Case Keenum

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

With Nick Foles all but on his way out, could the Philadelphia Eagles find their next great backup quarterback in his former Rams teammate Case Keenum?

The Philadelphia Eagles have a quarterbacks problem.

As of right now, the team has two signal-callers under contract going into 2019 season, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, but that number is certainly going to change over the forthcoming weeks.

When Howie Roseman picked up Foles option, locking him in for the 2019 NFL season on an eventual franchise tag, the writing was on the wall; he was going to be traded.

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And barring league interference, that in all likelihood is still going to pass.

That leaves us with one.

Sure, the team could still opt to re-sign Nate Sudfeld, the team’s third-string quarterback over the last two years who is also an unrestricted free agent in hopes of containing to develop them into a quality backup, but it’s hard to imagine the third-year Indiana product stepping into a large role if Wentz were to suffer another season-ending injury.

No, for the foreseeable future, the Eagles need to commit serious resources to stocking their quarterback’s room with quality players if they want to remain a viable, long-term playoff contender, especially one with serious playoff experience.

That player should be Case Keenum.

Less than one year removed from being a fringe MVP candidate that led the Minnesota Vikings to an NFC championship showdown in the Linc, Keenum sign a two-year, $36 million deal to play quarterback for John Elway and the Denver Broncos, and though the sample size was small, it was far from encouraging.

The latest horse on the Broncos’ QB carousel, Keenum performed about as well as anyone would have expected, throwing for 3,890 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading the undermanned team to a third place, 6-10 record in the AFC West.

This, apparently, wasn’t good enough for Elway, as he opted to make a trade to procure Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens.

Though one could argue if Flacco is, in fact, worth a mid-round pick as reported by Adam Schefter, the move set a series of dominoes into action that could have serious ramifications on the entire league moving forward, most notably: that Case Keenum is on the block.

With the Broncos in all likelihood still planning to procure a quarterback at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft, having two veteran quarterbacks on big money deals simply seems unnecessary, so according to Ian Rapoport, Keenum could be looking for a new home over the forthcoming weeks, likely for a late-round draft pick.

The Eagles have a number of late-round draft picks, including two in the 6th round.

Now granted, one could argue that those picks may be better used on selecting young upstart players, but as Wentz’s injury history would suggest, keeping a solid backup is worth capital.

I mean last season, the Eagles committed eight percent of their cap space to retaining Foles, a player who only appeared in seven games and no one would argue that was a bad move. Is Keenum as good a player as Foles? That’s debatable, but probably not, however, he is certainly better than the vast majority of the players on the market that the Eagles would likely give a similar salary too.

And much like Saint Nick, Keenum possesses that ‘it’ gene of a certified winner.

A graduate of a college air raid scheme, the same scheme Philly ran last year with Foles under center, Keenum worked his way up from an undrafted rookie out of Houston to a player who has started 54 games in the NFL split over four different teams.

That’s impressive.

Furthermore, Keenum has extensive experience as a backup quarterback, as he was initially the third-string option on the Vikings before eventually working up the depth chart following injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford.

If placed in a similar position behind Wentz, Keenum could once again thrive.

Furthermore, because of Keenum’s success both in the regular and postseason, Philly could further develop the hybrid air raid/spread/West Coast scheme that has become Doug Pederson‘s calling card over the last two seasons, the Eagles could run roughly the same system with Keenum under center, as opposed to simplifying things down to account for Foles’ lack of mobility.

As we’ve seen in Baltimore, teams are usually more successful when they have a backup quarterback who can effectively mirror their starters’ traits, so replacing Foles with a slightly more athletic quarterback like Keenum could help to keep their scheme more consistent should Wentz go down.

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Now granted, this is not a deal that could go down today tomorrow or really any time before a Foles trade goes down, as being straddled with two $18 million backup quarterback contracts would be a financial disaster, but once Nick has moved on to a new home, either by trade, or freed from his contract via NFL rule, Case Keenum could become a seriously attractive backup option for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019.