PHOENIX – When the Texans were looking for a proven veteran backup quarterback, they tapped into a familiar resource.
They signed former University of Houston quarterback Case Keenum for his third stint with the AFC South franchise.
Signed to a two-year, $6.25 million contract thatincludes $4 million guaranteed, a $750,000 signing bonus, base salaries of $2.25 million, which is fully guaranteed, and $2.75 million with $1 million of it guaranteed and a $1 million annual playtime incentive, the Texans were looking for more than an arm.
They wanted Keenum’s leadership and experience to mentor a young quarterback. The Texans are poised and expected to draft a quarterback, perhaps Alabama quarterback Bryce Young or Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, with the second overall pick.
Keenum’s presence would likely ease the transition of a rookie.
“Case is awesome,” Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair said following the NFL owners meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. “He’s a really good person. We saw him a week or so ago so excited that he’s back. Like I mentioned, the quarterback has a lot of different roles in leadership and things and he’s excellent at so many of those things. It’s excellent to have him in the building.”
Seated next to Cal McNair, Texans foundation vice president Hannah McNair added: “A veteran in the quarterback room always helps.”
To which, Cal McNair, added with emphasis: “The right veteran.”
Keenum is highly qualified with a lot of experience, going 29-35 all-time as a starter.
Keenum became the all-time NCAA leader for passing yards, touchdowns and completions for the Coogs.
Keenum, 35, is a Brownwood, Texas native who has played for the Texans, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Washington, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams.
He’s a proven quarterback who should be ideal to mentor a rookie quarterback for the Texans.
He has passed for 14,884 career yards, 78 touchdowns and 48 interceptions and rushed for 450 yards and six touchdowns.
Keenum (6-foot, 208 pounds) trains in Houston during the NFL offseason.
He went 0 and 8 as the starter for the Texans in 2013, but won two games in a row as a replacement for Ryan Fitzpatrick when he broke his leg. Keenum was signed off the Rams’ practice squad.
Traded to the Bills last year from the Browns for a seventh-round draft pick, Keenum spent last season in Buffalo. He played in two games in relief of starter Josh Allen, completing 2 of 7 passes for 8 yards.
Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com