Elway says Case Keenum was Broncos' target at QB

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Not only was Case Keenum the quarterback the Denver Broncos were able to sign in free agency, but general manager John Elway said Friday that Keenum was "our target" all along.

Keenum, who signed his two-year, $36 million deal Thursday, was formally introduced Friday at the team's suburban Denver complex. And while the Broncos considered any and all quarterbacks who were on the market, including Kirk Cousins, they reeled in Keenum during the first hours after free agency opened Wednesday afternoon.

"We're real excited that Case is here," Elway said. "We talked about it after the season that we need to upgrade at that position, and we got our guy. The guy who was our target ... with everything we look at, it all came out Case."

"We didn't wait around, we made it happen," Keenum said. "Denver was No. 1 on my list, too."

Keenum, who entered the league as an undrafted rookie in 2012 with the Houston Texans, had impeccable career timing this past season. In relief of an injured Sam Bradford with the Minnesota Vikings last season, Keenum threw for 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns in 15 games.

The Vikings went 11-3 in Keenum's 14 starts as they advanced to the NFC Championship Game with Keenum set to become an unrestricted free agent.

"We looked at everybody, we went through the whole process ... we did as much digging as we could possibly do, found out about them as people, also mentality, when we came out of all that, and all of the homework that we did, Case was our guy," Elway said. "[We] figured there's a special fit for everybody, and obviously all those other quarterbacks available are good players, but we thought the year Case had last year, what he's been through, where he's been, his mentality ... the year that he had last year, it's arguable, even though Kirk got a lot of the hoopla, Case had the best year."

Elway added he wanted to move quickly to sign Keenum as soon as the market officially opened -- "we wanted to get on it as quickly as we could" -- and Keenum was the first of the free-agent quarterbacks to agree to a deal.

Elway and coach Vance Joseph have said throughout the offseason that an upgrade at quarterback was the offseason's top priority. The Broncos used three starting quarterbacks in last season's 5-11 finish as they finished tied for 17th in yards per game and tied for 26th in scoring.

Only the winless Cleveland Browns had more turnovers than the Broncos (34), and only the Browns had more interceptions than the Broncos' 22.

"To have a team pursue me ... be their guy, that instills a lot of confidence in me," Keenum said. "I'm ready to be that guy, I know I am."