Gary Kubiak played big role in Broncos' landing Case Keenum

Jan 21 2018 Philadelphia PA USA Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford before the NFC Championship game Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 21 2018 Philadelphia PA USA Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford before the NFC Championship game Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Keenum, Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees are considered the top quarterbacks in free agency, with the Broncos heavily evaluating Cousins and Teddy Bridgewater before deciding Keenum would be their pick. And while the Vikings line improved in 2017, it still needs another round of resources this spring.

Kubiak has an increased role in the Broncos' personnel evaluations this year and has been a major voice as Denver prepares for free agency and the draft.

In Denver, poor quarterback play doomed the Broncos last season as the team stumbled to a 5-11 record, its worst campaign since 2010. Kubiak coached Keenum for two seasons (2013-2014) when Kubiak was the Texans head coach.

Keenum, 30, was among the second tier of available quarterbacks, and after beginning his National Football League tenure in Houston as an undrafted free agent, reached the pinnacle of his five pro seasons by helping the Vikings to the NFC championship and producing the Minnesota Miracle, a game-winning, 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs in a divisional playoff game against the Saints.

Keenum finished the season with 3,547 yards passing to go with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

According to 9News Denver, Keenum's deal is expected to be a short-term agreement, suggesting it won't preclude the Broncos from taking a quarterback with the fifth overall pick in next month's draft if they so choose. Keenum was great for the Vikings last season, but he had his "what are you doing?" moments and I don't know if a fanbase can be completely comfortable with Keenum, who was very average in his first four seasons in the NFL. After reaching the peak of Super Bowl 50 two years ago, the Broncos have sunk on the heels of two playoff-less seasons.

Elway said in recent weeks he still believed the team could get back into the postseason mix with an upgrade behind center. Is he the guy when he was at Houston or the Rams or is he the guy who played for us? "Obviously we have to get better there, whoever is going to be the quarterback".

Or as Elway put it at the scouting combine: "I didn't say it. Is it because he had a good team around him?"

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