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Vikings find a backup for Kirk Cousins by trading with the Broncos for Trevor Siemian

Trevor Siemian made 24 starts the past two seasons, but couldn’t bring Denver back to glory.

NFL: New York Giants at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Siemian made 24 starts over the last two seasons with the Denver Broncos, but none of those came in the playoffs. The Broncos decided that meant going in a different direction at quarterback, but the Vikings saw enough from the quarterback to trade for him Wednesday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Siemian went 13-11 behind center for the Broncos, but ultimately wasn’t able to capitalize on a smothering defense and a solid receiving corps. Though he was the team’s most successful starter — the Broncos went 1-7 in games started by Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch — his limited efficiency, tendency toward turnovers, and inability to make big plays in the red zone ultimately ended his tenure with the club.

What does this mean for the Broncos?

Denver is ushering in a new era at quarterback with Case Keenum and may be interetsed in adding another passer with the No. 5 pick. Siemian became a redundant piece in a lineup that already includes former first-round pick Lynch. While Lynch has the raw, but unmolded skills that made him a popular choice among scouts, Siemian is more widely regarded as a finished product despite his relative youth. That gave Lynch the nod when push came to shove on the quarterback depth chart.

Now Lynch will back up Keenum, although it’s possible Denver isn’t done tinkering with the quarterbacks on the roster.

What does this mean for the Vikings?

For all Siemian’s shortcomings, he was still a moderately successful quarterback who provided value far beyond his place as a seventh-round draft pick. While he doesn’t have the upside of a game-changing starter, he’s proven himself as a player who can keep a team afloat as a low-investment quarterback.

At 26 years old, he’s likely topped out as a player, but the mid-career success of Keenum in Minnesota provides hope for a reclamation project. Siemian has never been particularly accurate in the NFL and threw more interceptions than touchdowns last fall. Even so, he’s got starting experience, is relatively young, and comes cheap.

With Cousins in place in Minnesota, the Vikings will hope they don’t have to see Siemian take meaningful snaps. But the trio of Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater weren’t going to stick around as cheap backups. Siemian will fill that role and provide a skill set that is similar to Cousins.

The compensation hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s a move that makes sense for both sides.