The Vikings haven’t — and surely won’t — exercise the fifth-year option on quarterback Christian Ponder’s rookie contract. It means that he’ll be entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2014.
Ponder said Thursday that he has no concern about the outcome, in part because he understands that the option is largely meaningless.
“Honestly, I’m not thinking about it,” Ponder said, via Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. “Plus, the option doesn’t really mean much. They can cut me without anything after this year so it doesn’t matter.”
It matters, however, if Ponder suffers a two-year injury. The Vikings would owe him $9.6 million for 2015.
Ponder added that, for 2014, he has a “clean slate,” which makes sense since there’s a new coaching staff. But with Matt Cassel signing a two-year, $10 million deal just before he became a free agent, it became clear that, of the options currently on the roster, Cassel has priority.
Ultimately, Ponder could slide farther down the depth chart if the Vikings draft a quarterback. Pending developments in the draft both for the Vikings and other teams, there’s also a chance he could slide right out of town via trade.