EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Case Keenum conducted an incredible run that ended for the Vikings on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia. Now, nobody can be certain what the future will hold.
Keenum is scheduled to be a free agent, and multiple dynamics will play into which direction the Vikings choose to go. Despite a 13-3 record, the team didn’t accomplish its ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl in its home state for the first time in league history. Keenum was a big part of that success, although his return to the team next year is not promised.
Then, of course, the Vikings also have two other rostered quarterback who, when healthy, ought to be NFL starters. Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are variables in the Viking’s pending decision on Keenum.
“I really haven’t thought too much about it,” Keenum said when asked about his pending free agency. “I love this team, I love these guys, love the coaching staff. I love this whole organization; the Wilfs are awesome. The day I signed, I got a call from the owner welcoming me to the team. They don’t have to do that, that’s really cool. … The attitude and the character and just the culture they have around here is awesome. Not to mention Minnesota itself, man, the people here have been great.”
“My biggest fear coming here was the snow, and I didn’t even shovel that, so it’s been a great year,” he said, flashing a smile.
He said that the Vikings haven’t yet given him any indication yet about his future with the team, but added that that’s not necessarily atypical for this time of year.
“It’s a weird day. Because this will be the last time I’m in this locker room with a lot of these guys. So you want to make sure you enjoy that instead of trying to worry or stress about other things.”
Keenum made $2 million this year. That figure likely pales in comparison to his future earning based on his performance this season. Some have wondered aloud whether or not the Vikings should put a franchise tag on Keenum, which would lock him in for about a raise of about $20 million. Even if that doesn’t happen, perhaps Keenum showed another franchise that he’s a capable starter, and those quarterbacks routinely get big contracts.
Keenum was asked how he has reconciled the bitter end of the season, against the back drop that his career likely took a significant step forward this season in Minnesota.
“You don’t. I’ve got a lot of things to wrap my head around,” Keenum said. “I may go somewhere a little bit warmer and try to thaw out and try to process all that stuff. … Take some time away and enjoy it with my family. We’ll cross those roads when we get there.”