Pat Shurmur may get a second chance to be a head coach, and he could take Case Keenum with him.
The Minnesota Vikings earned the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs with a 13-3 record during the regular season. Quarterback Case Keenum has had a career-year, with career-highs across the board as he finished in the top-10 of the league in completion percentage and passer rating.
Based on Minnesota’s surprising top-10 scoring offense, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has become a hot head-coaching candidate. He has been busy during the Vikings’ week off, interviewing with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. The Lions seem set to hire Matt Patricia as their next head coach, and the Bears have Mitchell Trubisky in place under center, but the Cardinals and Giants are likely to be in the market for a quarterback this season.
On that note, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Keenum could follow Shurmur if Shurmur lands a head coaching job. Keenum will be a free agent, and he has made himself a strong candidate for a nice multi-year deal on the open market with his play this season.
The Vikings have a decision to make at quarterback, with Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford also headed for free agency. If Keenum leads a run to the NFC Championship Game or the Super Bowl it’s probably a no-brainer, but anything less than that opens the door for a turn back to a now-healthy Bridgewater heading into next season.
It makes sense for Keenum to stay attached to Shurmur, in Minnesota or elsewhere. A new Vikings’ offensive coordinator may not get the same kind of production out of him next year, aside from any expected downturn after a career year and any change in the talent around him, and it’s safe to say Shurmur would be an advocate for him in another organization.