After spending the first four seasons mostly as a backup, Keenum had a career year with the Minnesota Vikings last season, helping them reach the NFC Championship game.
Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway had made finding a long-term solution at quarterback the priority of the offseason after the Broncos limped to a 5-11 finish in 2017 with an offense that finished the year tied for 26th in scoring.
Keenum went 11-3 with 3,547 yards passing, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions and threw that last-second heave to Stephon Diggs to stun the New Orleans Saints 29-24 in the playoffs.
According to a team source, two factors solidified Denver's pursuit of Keenum: The strong support of Broncos senior personnel adviser Gary Kubiak, and a player-friendly contract structure that is being pursued by Kirk Cousins.
First, "missing out" on Cousins might be the biggest blessing in disguise for the Broncos.
Star Lotulelei will sign with Buffalo Bills — NFL free agency
Of those yards, 1,105 were inside the tackles, and opponents' 4.8 yards per rush inside the tackles was tied for worst in the NFL. Lotulelei will now provide an anchor for the next few years for a defense being remade in general manager Brandon Beane's image.
With Keenum leaving, could Kirk Cousins land in Minnesota?
While there have been no reports of contract numbers, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe has speculated that Keenum "could be had" for somewhere in the neighborhood of $16-$18 million per season.
The Broncos had three quarterbacks start games this past season - Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler - but it was a bumpy ride on offense as the Broncos were among the league leaders in turnovers and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was sacked in November. While Cousins is a very talented quarterback, not even Peyton Manning and all of his future Hall of Fame glory commanded that much when he signed with the Broncos back in 2012.
The Broncos haven't made the playoffs since their Super Bowl win to close out the 2015 season.
"I still think we're not too far away", Elway said at the combine. Instead of being forced into drafting a quarterback, the Broncos may be able to consider running back Saquon Barkley and guard Quenton Nelson, with of whom are considered the best prospects at their respective positions in quite some time. While many are quick to write Lynch off as a bust, it should be noted that Lynch was only drafted two years ago and missed most of last season due to a shoulder injury.
"There were some things we should have done differently that we didn't do".