The Vikings appear poised to let Christian Ponder play out the final year of his contract in 2014.
According to multiple published reports, the Vikings will not exercise their fifth-year option on Ponder, their No. 1 pick in 2011. PFT’s Mike Florio has confirmed Minnesota will not pick up Ponder’s option.
The Vikings are one of the leading candidates to add a quarterback in next week’s draft. The club also re-signed Matt Cassel, who finished the season as the starter. The Vikings were 3-2 in December, with Cassel starting or playing significant snaps in all three wins.
The 26-year-old Ponder threw for 1,648 yards with seven TD passes and nine interceptions in nine starts for Minnesota in 2013. He missed time with rib and shoulder injuries, as well as a concussion. However, he did not return to the lineup after being medically cleared of his concussion with three games left in the season.
The collective bargaining agreement between NFL owners and players allows teams to tender first-round picks a fifth-year contract after their third seasons.