Case Keenum was only a practice squad player with the St. Louis Rams in 2014, but he remembers sharing video study sessions with Sam Bradford, who sat out all of that season with a knee injury.
Impressed by Bradford, Keenum watched from afar the next season as his former teammate threw for 3,725 yards in 14 games with the Philadelphia Eagles.
And now that he has signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Vikings to become Bradford’s backup, Keenum said he can’t wait to be reunited with his former teammate.
“I’m excited to get to know him even more and watch him work on the field,” Keenum said. “I’ve watched him from afar and I’ve been a fan of his game and how he plays for a while now. He’s a heck of an athlete and has incredible arm talent, so I’m excited to see it live and in person on the field.”
The Vikings agreed to a one-year deal with Keenum to provide insurance behind Bradford if Teddy Bridgewater, out since August with a severe knee injury, is unable to play during the upcoming season.
As the Vikings prepare to begin offseason workouts in two weeks and organized team activities next month, Keenum said he’s looking forward to spending more time with Bradford, though the two haven’t spoken since Keenum signed.
“It’s been a whirlwind with the whole free agency process,” Keenum said.
Keenum, 29, is a veteran of four NFL seasons after being signed by the Houston Texans in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Houston.
On a Los Angeles Rams team that finished 4-12 last season, Keenum started the first nine games before the Rams gave the starting quarterback job to Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall draft pick a year ago.
The Rams went 4-5 with Keenum under center and 0-7 with Goff starting..
“I learned a lot (from that),” Keenum said. “In my case, the one thing I tried to do, and I felt like I did a pretty good job, was just keep my head down and keep moving forward. … Just play like I know how to play and be the best teammate, the best quarterback that I can be. Obviously, we didn’t win all the games that I would’ve liked, but I’ve learned from it and grown from it and I’m excited about what it has taught me and about where my career is going to go now.”
Keenum said he hasn’t yet spoken with coach Mike Zimmer about what exactly his role will be, but added he’ll soon start studying the team’s playbook.
“My personal goal on any team I’m on is to make that team better,” Keenum said. “Whatever role is required of me – and we didn’t talk specifics about that with the coaches – but I’m ready to come in and compete. I’ll learn the offense as quickly as I can and focus on making this team better.”