Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Zimmer not sold on Case Keenum replicating 2017 season

Mike Zimmer certainly knows the Minnesota Vikings benefited from Case Keenum’s career year in 2017. But that does not mean the Vikings head coach is sold that Keenum can in fact replicate his performance in the years ahead.

“We think he can. It’s just kind of guessing: Is he the guy when he was at Houston or the Rams or is he the guy who played for us? Is it because he had a good team around him?” Zimmer said Thursday from the NFL Scouting Combine, via the Star Tribune. “Bradford, his record wasn’t great, is it because he didn’t have a good team around him? Did he play with a good defense? All those things enter into it. All those factor into it. At the end of the day it’s a guess and a hunch.”

Keenum had without question the best season of his career in his first year with the Vikings, leading the team to the NFC Championship Game. All told, Keenum, in relief of a hobbled Bradford, posted a 68 percent completion rate while passing for 3,547 yards and totaling 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions.

That said, can Keenum be expected to repeat such a performance in 2018? It would appear the Vikings may not believe it, with the news the team is not expected to use the franchise tag on the quarterback. Although the team could sign him outright.

Looming over everything involving the Vikings’ uncertainty at quarterback is how reports suggest Kirk Cousins and the Vikings conceivably could be a perfect fit. And with Keenum, Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater set for free agency — although Zimmer indicated all three QBs “definitely” are under consideration — the coach expressed a preference for the Vikings not to overpay for a quarterback and in turn leave the team hamstrung financially.

“I want to be really careful about taking away from our strength and saying, ‘OK we’re not going to be able to do this and we’re not going to be able to do that anymore because of financial reasons or something else,'” Zimmer said.