Here’s the Broncos' reported plan for Case Keenum after pulling off surprising trade for Joe Flacco

After just one season with the Broncos, it appears that Case Keenum is already the odd man out in Denver following the team's surprising trade for Joe Flacco on Wednesday.  

Although the Flacco trade won't become official until March 13, the Broncos are already trying to figure out what do with Keenum and there's good chance the guy who started every game at quarterback for Denver in 2018 won't be on the roster when the 2019 season kicks off. 

According to NFL.com, the only way Keenum will be playing for the Broncos in 2019 is if he agrees to a massive pay cut, which isn't likely to happen. As things stand now, Keenum is scheduled to make $18 million in base salary in 2019, which includes $7 million in guaranteed money. 

The more likely scenario is that the Broncos get rid of Keenum and that could go one of two ways. As NFL.com reported, the Broncos are already in the process of shopping Keenum, which means we could see Denver pull off another trade before the start of free agency. Of course, if the Broncos can't find a trading partner, then they'll simply release Keenum, unless he agrees to take that aforementioned pay cut. 

No matter what the Broncos do, it's going to cost them some serious money. If the Broncos pull off a trade, they'll have to eat a $3 million cap charge as part of the signing bonus they gave Keenum when they originally inked him to a two-year, $36 million deal in 2018. The contract included a $6 million signing bonus, and of that bonus, the Broncos took a $3 million cap hit in 2018 and will have to take another $3 million hit in 2019 whether Keenum is playing for them or not. 

If the Broncos end up releasing Keenum, it will get even more expensive. Not only will they take a $10 million dead cap hit, but they'll have to pay Keenum $7 million in cash for the 2019 season. Keenum's two-year deal included $25 million in guaranteed money, with the team guaranteeing $7 million of his 2019 base salary. Basically, if Keenum gets cut, he'll have made $25 million for his one season in Denver, which is fantastic money for a quarterback who led his team to a 6-10 record in 2018.    

Although Keenum didn't have a great season in Denver, he should still be a hot commodity due in large part to the fact that the quarterback market just isn't that strong this year. When free agency begins in March, the biggest names in the quarterback class will likely be Nick Foles and Teddy Bridgewater, but Foles might not be available in free agency if the Eagles decide to hit him with the franchise tag. If that happens, he would likely become trade bait for the Eagles and there's a good chance the asking price for Keenum would be much lower than the asking price for Foles. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories