CLEVELAND (AP) — Case Keenum’s NFL journey is reuniting him with a coach who brought out the best in the quarterback.
Keenum officially signed his three-year, $18 million contract Tuesday with the Cleveland Browns, who are bringing him in to help mentor Baker Mayfield while also giving new coach Kevin Stefanski a security blanket in case things don’t go as planned.
Keenum spent 2017 in Minnesota with Stefanski, who was Vikings quarterback coach at the time. Keenum had a magical season with Stefanski, going 11-3 in 14 starts and getting to the playoffs. He capitalized on the performance by signing a two-year, $36 million contract the following season to start in Denver.
The 32-year-old has gone just 7-17 over the past two seasons — he was 1-7 with the Redskins in 2019 — but his experience (62 career starts) along with a deep knowledge of the position and defenses around the league should help Mayfield, who regressed after a strong rookie year.
“Case is somebody that’s seen it all and been through it all in his time as an NFL quarterback,” Stefanski said. “The experiences he brings can be great for our team as a whole. He knows this system having played in it under coach (Gary) Kubiak when he broke into the league in Houston, and obviously I have experience coaching him with the Vikings.
“I’m really excited about bringing Case the person into this group. He’s the son of a football coach, he’s a grinder, he’s a gym rat, so I think he’ll fit perfectly into the mentality we’re trying to build.”
The Browns, one of the NFL’s most active teams in free agency last week, also officially announced the signings of return specialist Jojo Natson and cornerback Donovan Olumba.