Browns Urged to Move on From Quarterback With Bloated Contract

Case Keenum and Baker mayfield

Getty Images Case Keenum and Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns have one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in the league in Case Keenum but there’s a good chance the 34-year-old could ends up being a cap casualty this offseason.

If Keenum is released after June 3, it would save the Browns more than $7.1 million, which seems like a logical move considering the Browns did not show a ton of faith in him when Baker Mayfield was hobbled last season.

Keenum was part of a list of potential cap casualties put together by USA Today. Here’s what author Jared Muller had to say about the Browns possibly parting ways with Keenum:

Another move that seems likely but is complicated is moving on from Keenum. Along with Jack Conklin and Austin Hooper, Keenum was a part of Berry’s early additions in his first offseason.

The team didn’t seem to trust their backup quarterback enough to sit Baker Mayfield for a few weeks, or for the season, when the starter got hurt. Hard to have a backup costing the team $8 million against the cap who they won’t do that with.

Browns Showed Little Faith in Keenum

Keenum started two games last season for the Browns — one was against the Broncos when Mayfield’s shoulder injury was too severe to play through, and the other was in the season finale, which Mayfield sat out. He passed for 462 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in those games.

Keenum said it was a “small miracle” every week Mayfield was able to get on the field, which is a testament to Mayfield’s toughness but also an indictment of Keenum.

“I did have a front row seat to one of the gutsiest, toughest performances of a quarterback playing in a season that I have ever seen, culminating in the other night and how he battled his tail off to really bring us back into that game and keep us in it,” Keenum said on January 5. “I think his entire season he was battling a lot of things. He is one of the toughest guys I know, and he is a fighter. He came to fight every single day and pushed through a lot of adversity just to get on the field on Sundays.”

Browns Have Decision to Make on Baker Mayfield

With Mayfield entering the final year of his rookie deal, the Browns will have to make a decision on their future at quarterback. Mayfield was banged up a year ago, but If it unfolds similarly to last season, the team could look to make an in-season change.

With a roster built to win now with stars like Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward and Myles Garrett, it would make sense for the Browns to part ways with Keenum and look for a backup option that could be a legitimate threat to Mayfield. Names in that conversation would be Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota.

While there have been many conversations about the Browns quarterback situation, the team has publically backed Mayfield as the starter for next season.

“We have been with Baker for a long period of time at this point. We know his work ethic, we know his drive and we have seen him as a talented passer in this league. We are looking forward to him getting healthy and continuing to make improvements. We expect him to bounce back next year,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry told reporters at the end of the season in January.

Does that mean the team won’t explore all their options? Definitely not and it would be foolish for the team not to see what’s out there.

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