Keenum has been allowed to hit the open market by the Minnesota Vikings despite leading them to the NFC Championship game last season. While Cousins was by far the more popular name in free agency, the Broncos got more than a "Plan B" in signing Keenum.
Keenum worked with former Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, now a senior personnel advisor in Denver's front office, with the Houston Texans from 2012-13 having joined as an undrafted free agent.
Denver were also reported to be in the hunt for Cousins having struggled through three options under centre last season but general manager John Elway has made his move for Keenum.
In 2017, Keenum went 11-3 as a starter for the Vikings and finished the season throwing for 3,547 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
First, "missing out" on Cousins might be the biggest blessing in disguise for the Broncos. It should be noted that Keenum thrived in a similar situation in Minnesota, where he had an elite defense and a couple of reliable receivers.
Those two realities made Keenum the more attractive choice for the Broncos - creating an aggressive push to get a deal hammered out on Monday afternoon.
Elway said in recent weeks he still believed the team could get back into the postseason mix with an upgrade behind center. Just a few months later, he'll be taking his talents to the Denver Broncos. This collection of draft picks would set the Broncos up nicely for both the 2018 and 2019 drafts.
Keenum, 30, brings playoff experience, strong leadership, and lingering questions about whether last season was the start of a career renaissance or an aberration.
Finally, the Keenum signing truly puts the Broncos in the best position to compete in the AFC West now, as well as continue working with 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch into the future.
The fact that the Broncos didn't think highly enough of Cousins as a realistic option that they didn't even offer him a contract is particularly surprising.