"We got our guy. The guy that was our target," Elway said Friday introducing his new starting QB, via NFL Network's James Palmer.
"Denver was No. 1 on my list, too," Keenum beamed, later saying he wore No. 7 with other teams because of Elway.
While it's perhaps a bit of revisionist history on Elway's part after the Broncos were swiftly priced out of the Cousins bonanza, the GM quickly snagged Keenum on a two-year contract worth $36 million.
"He was the perfect fit for us so we're extremely excited to welcome Case to Denver and really have high expectations of what we can do and what he's going to add to us, especially on the offensive side," Elway said.
Keenum is coming off a career-year in Minnesota, compiling 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions while completing 67.6 percent of his passes. Many, including former coach Mike Zimmer, openly question whether Keenum can replicate the dream season he had with the Vikings.
"I plan on being better than I was last year," Keenum insisted Friday.
The two-year deal suggests Keenum is a bridge for Denver. Former first-round pick Paxton Lynch remains on the roster and Elway could use the No. 5 overall pick on another rookie passer.
Keenum said he's not worried about the short deal or having to battle younger players for playing time.
"First of all we want to be here long-term," he said. "I want to continue to earn everything from this point out, so it made the most sense."
As for players like Von Miller openly campaigning for Cousins, Keenum isn't bothered.
"Von was the first person that reached out," he said. "And I applaud those guys for wanting to make their team better. It's not awkward for me at all. ... Just the reception we've had, not just from the city, the fans, the coaches, but the players -- it's been great and I'm ready to step in that lockerroom and earn the right to be a leader."
Broncos fans might feel they got their second choice, but they landed a player motivated to prove he's more than a one-year wonder.