by Alex Poletti
The official details of the Case Keenum trade have been completed, with the Denver Broncos receiving a crisp high five from the Washington Redskins in return for the quarterback.
Keenum was picked up by the Denver Broncos during the 2018 free agency period, signing a two-year, $36 million deal. After a poor first season in Denver, the front office decided it was time for a change.
The AFC West team found their trade partner in the Washington Redskins, who lost their quarterback Alex Smith in a gruesome injury in week 11 against the Houston Texans. With Smith projected to miss all of 2019, Keenum became the clear target. The question was the asking price.
“We knew we wanted Keenum,” Washington GM Bruce Allen says, “but we didn’t know how much he was going to cost. I think a nice high five is a good price to pay for the quality of player we’re getting in return.”
Keenum, a star with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, had a measly 18 touchdowns to pair with 15 interceptions with the Broncos, along with a lackluster 81.2 quarterback rating. With his high salary, it became uncertain how much a team was willing to give for the University of Houston product.
“I’m honestly glad we got anything in return,” Broncos President of Football Operations John Elway says. “Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve had a solid high five. One of those crisp ones where you can really hear it. When Bruce said I’d get one of those, I was all in.”
Although both sides seemed to be in agreement, a logistic issue arose over who would give Elway the high five. The Second String reports that Elway had hoped the high five would come from running back Adrian Peterson or safety HaHa Clinton-Dix.
“I nixed that right away,” Allen explains. “I’d never put the players in that kind of position. I asked a lot of people in the office if they’d be willing to take one for the team and give Elway a high five, but no one wanted to.”
The Redskins countered the offer with a high five from their intern Andy, but Elway refused because Andy’s “hands were clammy.” Eventually, it was decided that Allen himself would deliver the high five.
“Obviously, I wasn’t thrilled about it,” Allens says. “I think we may have given up a little too much, they may have short-changed us. But I guess that’ll just be a chip on Case’s shoulder: to prove that he really was worth that high five.”