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Report: Cassel, Ponder will compete to start

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In an extended visit last month with Paul Allen and Paul Charchian of KFAN, Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman was unequivocal regarding his position that Christian Ponder is the team’s quarterback.

Then again, Spielman also said that the Vikings had “no intent” to trade Percy Harvin.

Amid Spielman’s commitment to the guy he picked with the 12th overall selection in the 2011 draft, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that newcomer Matt Cassel will compete with Ponder for the starting job.

Whether that’s coming from the Vikings or from Cassel’s camp will say plenty about its accuracy, as will the contract the Vikings gave to Cassel.  When it comes to quarterbacks, money speaks much more loudly than any of the perfunctory offseason misdirection and smokescreens.

Ponder has had the job only two years.  And while Ponder hasn’t become a franchise quarterback, Cassel’s last two years have been mediocre at best.

The fact that Ponder was drafted in the first year of the new rookie wage scale means that it won’t cost much to get rid of him, if/when the Vikings decide to move on.

Still, it seems a little early for Spielman to fold the tents on the guy he hand picked.  Especially when Pla B is a guy who has shown flashes of success, but no consistency.

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62 Responses to “Report: Cassel, Ponder will compete to start”
  1. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:16 PM

    A healthy competition never hurt anyone. See the Jets. They coddled Sanchez and he is fumbling off butts.

  2. mrhurriicane says: Mar 14, 2013 10:16 PM

    Ponder isn’t losing the job before the start of the season. Any speculation otherwise I believe is entirely media driven.

  3. jpopejoy says: Mar 14, 2013 10:17 PM


  4. shawon0meter says: Mar 14, 2013 10:17 PM

    If this is a legitimate competition, there’s no doubt Cassel will be the starter.

  5. kevinwi says: Mar 14, 2013 10:17 PM

    and per Rick Speilman just an hour ago outside of Manny’s steakhouse called Adam Shefter incorrect to reporters. Speilman just stated Cassel is being brought in to backup Ponder and Christian is the starter. Let’s not turn this into the national inquirer story of PFT.

  6. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:18 PM

    But we’ve been assured by Viking fans that Cassel was brought in as a backup. How can this be?

  7. scoops1 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:18 PM

    Loser goes to the Jets….

  8. pettytom says: Mar 14, 2013 10:18 PM

    Looks like you might want to start calling the Vikings Arizona Cardinals north.

  9. codiablo says: Mar 14, 2013 10:19 PM

    talkin bout a guy that punk’d one of the best and most beloved players in franchise history. Spielman, “If I lie my way through life (sincerely), one day I can become a GM and be a well paid (not good) businessman. I already believe in nothing ($$$$$). Go for it!”

  10. gunndlewittlebaum says: Mar 14, 2013 10:19 PM

    Name a backup that DOESN’T compete to become the starter? Ponder and Cassel have a very similar skill set. The only difference is that one is fast and the other is old. Ponder starts and probably plays fairly well.


  11. SilentMajority says: Mar 14, 2013 10:19 PM

    Their just trying to push Ponder. However, if he can’t beat out Cassell then he’s probably never going to be a franchise QB…

  12. rightwingguy says: Mar 14, 2013 10:19 PM

    It’s Ponders to lose but Cassel will have him looking over his shoulder if he fails to perform. He ended the yr playing well so I hope Ponder can carry that over.

  13. jh500 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:19 PM

    Adrian Peterson must be ecstatic to hear this. Ponder and Cassel!

    To watch these two greats battle it out for the starter position is going to be amazing.

  14. kevinwi says: Mar 14, 2013 10:21 PM

    yep..clearly brought in to compete RT @AdamSchefter: Former Chiefs QB Matt Cassel’s contract with the Vikings is a 1-year, $4 million dea

  15. bucrightoff says: Mar 14, 2013 10:21 PM

    Well yeah, Christian Ponder isnt very good

  16. strokeytheclown says: Mar 14, 2013 10:21 PM


  17. shartthrob says: Mar 14, 2013 10:22 PM

    Wow. People thought I was stupid for thinking T. Jack would turn into a great QB.

  18. admiralgeneralaladeen says: Mar 14, 2013 10:23 PM

    Except Dan Wiederer and Tom Pelissero are reporting that there wont be a QB competition. But what would they know? It’s not like they cover the team for a living or anything. Oh wait…

  19. kane337 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:23 PM

    Who are they going to throw the ball to?

  20. rickrock6661982 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:23 PM

    What a lose-lose proposition that is.

    Only a matter of time before Peterson has enough and gets out of dodge as well.

  21. billbrasky72 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:29 PM

    Not buying this for a second. They wanted a solid backup that was just good and young enough to keep Ponder looking over his shoulder if (when) he starts throwing ducks. Little bit of added motivation, that’s all. If Ponder hasn’t taken a step forward by the end of next season, all bets are off.

  22. vicnocal says: Mar 14, 2013 10:29 PM

    This is exactly what all of us were saying in your previous post about this, written by Gantt, where he foolishly said that Cassel is an old guy who, after his stint in KC, is tired of playing QB, so he will gladly relinquish the starting job to the almighty undisputed Ponder and know his role as a clipboard holder. Utter nonsense, and this confirms it.

  23. kuhawks2010 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:31 PM

    Battle between backup QBs..Sounds exciting!

  24. vik3z says: Mar 14, 2013 10:32 PM

    your gullibility amazes me gossip girl

  25. unnamedxsource says: Mar 14, 2013 10:34 PM

    This should give Ponder something to ponder…

  26. veence69 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:34 PM

    I didn’t know Adam Schefter worked in the Vikings front office.. Then again, I don’t suppose he’s full of ****..

    I’m not a Ponder apologist and I firmly believe that if he had the ability to win at this level he would have shown it by now – but for anyone to believe (let alone report) that Matt Cassell is going to compete for the starting job is pretty far removed from reality. This is an upgrade to Joe Webb. Even as inconsistent as Ponder has been, Spielman and Co. have gone all-in on their QB.

    Matt Cassell knows this. Christian Ponder knows this. Adam Shefter knows this – he’s just out for web hits. And you suckers are delivering.

  27. elliottcovert says: Mar 14, 2013 10:35 PM

    Unless they get some receivers, its hard to imagine either Cassel or Ponder looking too good.

  28. vik3z says: Mar 14, 2013 10:37 PM

    lets see, speilman says ponders the unquestioned starter, frazier says ponders the unquestioned starter, but yea Adam Schein would know best LMAO

  29. boobschannel says: Mar 14, 2013 10:39 PM

    yeah, no. cassel is there so we don’t have a repeat of last seasons end via the joe webb debacle. ponder is only under contract until after the end of 2014 season, with frazier on a 1 year option, it’s ride or die with ponder this season and the next.

    cassel fits the mold, because the vikings are trying to do something similar to what new england does, only with an actual running game – a lot of 2 TE sets and short passes. he performed well when he took over for brady and again in 2010 w/ the chiefs, so he fits the backup role. which is all he will ever be.

  30. rodfinfan87 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:41 PM

    replace “report” with common sense Florio. Ponder wasnt brought to the Vikes just to hold a clipboard. of course, he gets a shot at the starting job

  31. purpblooded says: Mar 14, 2013 10:41 PM

    May the best QB win!…….I think it’ll be Ponder.

  32. killitandeatit says: Mar 14, 2013 10:41 PM

    Clash of the titans ? L.O.L…..

  33. vikesrulejimmysucks says: Mar 14, 2013 10:44 PM

    Ooh man my vikings are screwed. better luck next year Gilmore

  34. thevikes14 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:47 PM

    To me, This is meant to push ponder to continually work hard and get better. There was no one behind him pushing him. Te chance to lose your job hopefully scares him

    But this is just my opinion

  35. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 14, 2013 10:49 PM

    Sure, they’ll compete. But Ponder is the starter until Cassel can prove that he’s better. Not likely to happen.

  36. cpo187 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:49 PM

    As I said before:

    Ponder has shown he “might” be able to be the man at QB.

    Cassel has shown he “can’t” be the man at QB.

    I would take Ponder and hope.

  37. slickster35 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:51 PM

    LOL @ Cassel being ‘mediocre”.

    Mediocre QB’s don’t have 20 turnover seasons, and in a partial season to boot.

    This guy got benched (and rightfully so) for Brady freaking Quinn.

    Think about that for a minute.

  38. mcjon22 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:59 PM

    Umm, did The Vikings watch tape on Castle before they signed him to compete with Ponder?

  39. Sam says: Mar 14, 2013 10:59 PM

    All indications from Tom Pelissero and other Twin Cities guys is that the only way Cassel will be competing for the starting spot is if Ponder is hurt in training camp or regresses horribly early in the season.

  40. ther3alslimshady says: Mar 14, 2013 11:00 PM

    Actually this report is false florio. Sources that are also close to the Vikings say he’s simply a backup. Cassels camp are just puttin this out there. Nice reporting.

  41. doe22us says: Mar 14, 2013 11:10 PM

    I guess Spielman didnt see how atrocious Cassel was ehh.

  42. rayvens says: Mar 14, 2013 11:16 PM

    Cassel is a bum plain and simple…so all u Vikings fans better hope Ponder turns that corner or ur n trouble

  43. steelerben says: Mar 14, 2013 11:21 PM

    Be careful what you wish for, Vikings fans. You might just get it.

    Anyone but Ponder sounds great until Matt “Sand” Cassel is under center.

  44. mjkelly77 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:25 PM

    Ponder? Cassel? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  45. 4thqtrsaint says: Mar 14, 2013 11:29 PM

    Stick with Ponder.

  46. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Mar 14, 2013 11:34 PM

    Ponder will be sick. I’ve seen every pro snap he’s taken he just makes boneheaded decisions within the intellectual vacuum of bill musgraves anemic offense. I don’t care what anybody says unless they have seen what I’ve seen, the guy has put together games that crappy quarterbacks could never put together in a hundred seasons for REAL. He needs time, he’s leagues ahead of t-jack, he just needs more opportunities to throw besides 3rd and 11 after an AP no gain and AP loss of one. Look at the season finale when he beat rodgers and got into the playoffs, near flawless performance, if you didn’t respect that, you should watch more football.

  47. mnvikes7897 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:39 PM


  48. lordfrza says: Mar 14, 2013 11:41 PM

    I don’t know who this “Pla B” guy is or what he has to do with this story, but I definitely would not go with him!

  49. pillowporkers says: Mar 15, 2013 12:29 AM

    Adam shefter also said the Vikings were going to take maurice claiborne the day before the draft last year too. Yeah that would have made sense. A cover 2 team taking a man cover corner when their left tackle was terrible and Matt kalil was available. Sure. I don’t believe this for a second. No one else has said this but Adam shefter.

  50. schwenke76 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:21 AM

    I know if I tried out I wouldn’t beat either Cassel or Ponder for the starting spot but it would be a closer competition than you think.

  51. handlethehandles says: Mar 15, 2013 1:48 AM

    hes not farve but ponder certainly reminds me of Tjack… Please let this not be another show pony.. let them both compete…

  52. in3webelieve says: Mar 15, 2013 4:12 AM


  53. devikesfan says: Mar 15, 2013 9:33 AM

    Hopefully this is just wishful thinking on the part of Cassel’s camp.
    Vikings management needs to give Ponder the weapons he needs to consistently be successful.
    If he starts to regress, then they can start making noises about replacing him with Scott Mitchell v2.0.

  54. glennsyank13 says: Mar 15, 2013 9:42 AM

    Why do you even ponder passing.

  55. thesmartestmanever says: Mar 15, 2013 10:06 AM

    wow! who would’ve thunk it? oh wait I did, yesterday.

  56. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:22 AM

    mrhurriicane says: Mar 14, 2013 10:16 PM

    “Ponder isn’t losing the job before the start of the season. Any speculation otherwise I believe is entirely media driven.”

    You can’t blame it all on a media conspiracy. At least some of this falls on Ponder’s craptastic play.

  57. thesmartestmanever says: Mar 15, 2013 10:34 AM

    what NFL team is going to dish out $4 mil. for a backup? Cassell thinks he is a starter and wants to be a starter. why go straight to a back up role before testing the market?

  58. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:52 AM

    vik3z says: Mar 14, 2013 10:37 PM

    “lets see, speilman says ponders the unquestioned starter, frazier says ponders the unquestioned starter, but yea Adam Schein would know best LMAO”

    Spielman also told us at the combine that Harvin would not be traded.

    Viking fans are so gullible.

  59. s0fakingawes0me says: Mar 15, 2013 11:52 AM

    Neal knows that Ponder is the guy..

  60. contra74 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:47 PM

    Name a USC qb that is enjoying success in the NFL? Right, I wish we didn’t sign this dud. USC QBs are worthless in the NFL.

  61. valhalla2013 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    Good move Tricky Rick Matt might look like a Super Star again with a good line behing my Northman.

  62. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 17, 2013 8:34 PM

    Maybe Cassel can help Ponder with his poor arm strength.

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