In a few weeks, quarterback Case Keenum will release his new book "Playing for More: Trust Beyond What You Can See" that he wrote with Andrew Perloff. The book, which chronicles Keenum's football career and his faith, will be released on Sept. 4 and is currently available for pre-order here.
As he anticipates the release, Keenum agreed to share a portion of the book. The excerpt below is taken from Chapter 16: Bronco Country.
Back to 2018. This offseason was different. I knew I would get offers. But the same fears were there. We’re all afraid of the unknown. Maybe it’s uncertainty about whether an NFL team wants me, or whether my job is safe, or whether I’m going to pass this test in school next week. We want to know everything is going to work out. It’s difficult to trust when you can’t see.
I’m not sure how truly present I was in that moment . . . part of me was worried about the traffic and getting to the game on the time. Another part was concerned that the right kind of offer wouldn’t come. Joining a competitive team was important. I had experienced a lot of winning in Minnesota and wanted to keep it going.
In the days leading up to free agency I had been linked to almost every team that needed a quarterback. I didn’t know if any of that was going to happen. But I had been here before. Facing uncertainty and not sure who wanted me and who believed in me. All I knew for sure was that God had taken care of me every time before. And I was sure He would put me in the right place once again.
I’m not sure everyone realizes how beneficial good agents can be. There’s a reason they’re the ones talking to teams. Through the years, I’m sure there were plenty of league executives who had things to say about me that weren’t very nice. They’re in the business of keeping players’ salaries down so they can fit in as much talent as possible under the salary cap. And some of them probably just didn’t like me as a player. Unless you’re Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, that’s how it goes. The agents act as a shield for the players. Jeff and Graylan know me so well, I completely trust them to speak for me. And I know they’re going to bring me back information that is helpful to me, not just the white noise that is everywhere that time of year.
On this night they thought I would want to know about the Vikings first. Makes sense, even if it didn’t make me feel better. What happened next is one of those moments you’d like to look back at and say was more dramatic, but in reality it happened faster than I expected. They said matter-of-factly that the Denver Broncos wanted to make a two- or possibly three-year offer.
OK guys, why didn’t you lead with that?
Like everyone else my age, I was a huge John Elway fan. I had his jersey when I was a kid and thought he was the coolest. When he scrambled and got spun around like a helicopter in Super Bowl XXXII, he still led the team to the win. He was the man.
I first had the honor of meeting him at the 2009 Walter Camp Awards ceremony. My parents couldn’t come to that event so I had my buddy Mikado tag along as my plus-one. He recently reminded me exactly how the conversation went down when I walked up to Elway to introduce myself.
“Mr. Elway, my name is Case Keenum,” I mumbled. “It’s a real honor to meet you.”
“Oh, man. I love watching you sling the ball around at Houston,” Elway said.
“I didn’t even know you knew who I was,” I replied, for no helpful reason.
Now, Elway is the general manager and President of Football Operations for the Broncos and he wants me? I couldn’t believe it. But my agents weren’t done. They went straight back to business mode and started running down all the other situations around the league. And then they said, “By the way, the Broncos basically need to know right now.”
Denver wasn’t in on Kirk and didn’t want to wait around for him. My agents said we shouldn’t wait either. We have a team that wants you and wants you bad. “I think this is going to be the best option for more than just financial reasons,” Jeff said.
I had so many questions. I was spinning every possible scenario in rapid fire. Kimberly, who tends to be more expressive about these kinds of issues — and every other kind of issue, too — cut us off. “Wait, the Denver Broncos . . . we’re excited about this, right? Why aren’t we screaming right now?”
OK, OK . . . we’re getting somewhere.
A little less business and a little more whooping was appropriate. At this point, we pulled off the highway and I moved over to the passenger seat so I could keep talking. After reviewing each situation some more, my agents decide to give me some time to think about the options.
“How about fifteen minutes?”
Fifteen minutes? I’m supposed to make a decision that will shape my career and affect both me and my family for years. Jeff and Graylan said they were going to circle back with other teams that were interested to try to get the complete picture. They would hit me back shortly. The sooner I could decide on Denver, the better.
Excerpted with permission from _Playing for More _by Case Keenum with Andrew Perloff. Copyright 2018, B&H Publishing Group.