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Vikings haven’t given up on Christian Ponder yet


Just because the Vikings drafted quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the first round this year, that doesn’t mean they’ve completely given up on the first-round quarterback they drafted in 2011.

Christian Ponder, who was benched last year and is widely expected to be behind both Bridgewater and Matt Cassel on the depth chart this year, will still get a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job in Minnesota. That’s the word from Albert Breer of NFL Network, who reports that the Vikings are pushing competition and will give all three quarterbacks some first-team reps in Organized Team Activities.

NFL teams often say that everyone on the roster has a chance to compete for a starting job, and so it’s no surprise that the Vikings are saying that with Ponder. Coaches think players will work harder in the offseason if they believe that everyone is competing for a spot at the top of the depth chart.

Realistically, however, it would be a huge disappointment in Minnesota if Ponder ends up as the Vikings’ starter when the season begins. If Ponder is the starter, that probably means Bridgewater and Cassel were both disappointing in training camp and the preseason, or they’re both hurt. There’s still a scenario in which Ponder ends up starting for the Vikings, but that looks like a worst-case scenario.

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100 Responses to “Vikings haven’t given up on Christian Ponder yet”
  1. qdog112 says: May 25, 2014 11:09 AM

    The huge mistake will be for Ponder to be on the roster, day one.

  2. kodatrout says: May 25, 2014 11:11 AM

    Probably because he’s still the best QB on the roster. Ponder>Bustwater

  3. evansvc says: May 25, 2014 11:11 AM

    What would it hurt???? Take a look at Vince Young…..
    There are a lot worse QBs on NFL rosters that has never had the success Vince Young has had …(NFL Rookie of the Year, 2 Pro Bowls, Playoff experience and Mobility). Vince has a career winning record of 31-19…
    He can help this team…even if it’s just upgrading the quarterback pool…

  4. jermainewiggins says: May 25, 2014 11:12 AM

    0 percent chance he starts a game in 2014 that isnt bc of injury

  5. angelogiaquinto18 says: May 25, 2014 11:13 AM

    If he is the quarter back I wouldn’t say….worst-case scenario, I’d say it’s a flat-out disaster!

  6. DaveKShape says: May 25, 2014 11:15 AM

    Christian Ponder looked like a pro bowler when they played the Skins last season. Sadly, that was more about the Skins’ D being truly awful than it was about Ponder. Good thing my Skins shook things up and got a new DC!!! Wait a second…

  7. andrewluck12 says: May 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    He will be Andrew’s back up next year

  8. shawon0meter says: May 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    What this really means is nobody will give up a pick for Ponder right now, he’s in the last year of his deal, and they need a 3rd quarterback anyway.

    No worries Vikings fans, the era of Ponder starting is most definitely dead.

  9. higheriqthanyou says: May 25, 2014 11:19 AM


  10. hodous says: May 25, 2014 11:20 AM


    Worst franchise ever.

  11. fullmoonkyle says: May 25, 2014 11:21 AM

    There is ZERO chance unless of injuries that Ponder starts. They have a stabilizer in Cassel and HOPEFULLY the future in Bridgewater. Coming off a fairly positive offseason (superbowl, draft) Ponder starting would be a P.R. disaster!

  12. sincejumpstreet says: May 25, 2014 11:21 AM

    Groan. Another year with that goofy grinning face haunting my dreams. Why, God, why?

  13. codiablo says: May 25, 2014 11:28 AM

    cut him already~!!!!

  14. truepurple says: May 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    You can’t be a starting nfl quarterback if your scared of your own shadow.

  15. thepftpoet says: May 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    Teddy Bridgewater threw 17 TDs to 0 interceptions while in the red zone last year.

    He was the #1 ranked QB in college against the blitz with a passer rating of 130.1 and 16 TDs / 1 interception.

    For everyone questioning his hand size, they are only 1/8 of an inch smaller than Aaron Rodgers, so you can throw that criticism in the garbage.

    He is also the smartest QB on the field and has executed looking off safeties and gets to his 3-4th progression while staying firm in the pocket.

    For people questioning his arm strength, he had the highest velocity of all QB’s in this NFL draft according to a Sports Science test.

    Teddy Bridgewater will be a successful QB in this league.

  16. elguardo says: May 25, 2014 11:31 AM

    Maybe that should say the Vikings haven’t given up the concept of getting someone for this turd in a trade.. and will thus waste first team reps on this turds in hope they can get a 12 pack instead of just a 6 pack of coors light

  17. adcdv9561 says: May 25, 2014 11:35 AM

    There is also the chance that all ponder needed was a good coach. Coach turner could be all he needed

  18. sportsfan18 says: May 25, 2014 11:37 AM

    he’s still young enough to improve…

    who knows, maybe Mrs. Ponder told him that she was marrying a STARTING QB in the NFL and that he better improve and start or else…

    She’d be a reason for a young QB to put in the necessary work in the off season to work harder…

  19. mrwalterisgod says: May 25, 2014 11:38 AM

    Of course they haven’t. They’re the Vikings.

  20. v2787 says: May 25, 2014 11:40 AM

    Ponder is a disaster. They need to get rid of him ASAP.

  21. arminscopyofswank says: May 25, 2014 11:42 AM

    They should.

  22. 6ball says: May 25, 2014 11:42 AM


    Clearly, Ponder would have benefited from a “redshirt” year before being thrown to the the NFL wolves.

    At this point he’d probably be better off in another organization. However the market was set by the Gabbert trade (6th rounder). It would be a difficult for the current regime, which drafted Ponder, to eat crow.


  23. realnflmaster says: May 25, 2014 11:43 AM

    Speilman is a terrible GM. Blown pick after blown pick.

  24. bornahawker says: May 25, 2014 11:49 AM

    Trying to get a future draft pick from another team. Maybe Jacksonville.

  25. f1restarter says: May 25, 2014 12:02 PM

    Ponder is better than Bilgewater will ever be. Of course, Ponder still isn’t good enough to make the Packers’ practice squad…

  26. ravenswhat says: May 25, 2014 12:02 PM

    Ludicrous. Of course they have. That sorry team has numerous holes yet they spend a 1st rd pick on a QB and haven’t given up on ponder? Uh huh.

  27. dickshotdogs says: May 25, 2014 12:03 PM

    The best QB that came out of the 2014 draft was Jimmy Garoppolo. However, it may take awhile too see it.

  28. dumdolt says: May 25, 2014 12:14 PM

    Ponder > Bridgewater #skooled

  29. sterling7 says: May 25, 2014 12:18 PM

    As a Viking 4life since 1968 the last coaching staff was grossly incompetent all the way around starting with the head coach (Leslie Frazier)-has anyone ever realized that? Maybe a competent coaching staff (which this is an excellent coaching staff) may fare far better!!!

  30. bighawk46 says: May 25, 2014 12:31 PM

    Still not going to make it to the playoffs epic fail lol

  31. jokendave says: May 25, 2014 12:33 PM

    Sorry, but Ponder deserves one more shot. 3 veteran QB’s and none are really have success in a season? I would really question the coaching and play calling. If I could predict everything the Vikings did last year and plays they would call, so could every team in the league. I hope everything well for Ponder, even if it isn’t with this team. But everyone deserves there shot at defending themselves at a true and honest venue. Then there are no excuses, just results or backup roles. Skol Vikings!!!

  32. fordmandalay says: May 25, 2014 12:34 PM

    Ponder is giving Mark Sanchez competition for the ‘Luckiest Man On The Planet’ title.

  33. thebirdofprey2 says: May 25, 2014 12:38 PM

    This is why the Vikings remain an NFL farm team.

  34. woodygg says: May 25, 2014 12:44 PM

    Of course they haven’t. They hope they can trade him for something. Anything.

  35. purplengold says: May 25, 2014 12:52 PM

    of course he’ll carry a clipboard, he’s still better than no quarterback

  36. 1bigtex says: May 25, 2014 12:53 PM

    But they should.

  37. Great Caesar's Ghost says: May 25, 2014 12:55 PM

    Whatever is the smart decision, you can count on the Vikings to do the opposite.

  38. pfffffffffffft says: May 25, 2014 12:58 PM

    New coordinator, new confidence maybe.. Can’t hurt. I know he’s not Drew Brees, but even he struggled in San Diego until Philip Rivers came onboard. Lit a fire under him and he got better. Let’s see if Norv can help him out. Ponder might not become all pro, but an Alex Smith sort of player might be alright. Another QB who grew under Norv’s stint as OC in SF.

  39. r502 says: May 25, 2014 1:09 PM

    Their actions suggest otherwise.

  40. uglydingo says: May 25, 2014 1:09 PM

    Spielman isn’t a bad GM, he’s good at some of the tasks. However, he is hopeless at finding franchise QBs. He was at Miami before heading to Minnesota.
    He will continually search for the lower cost diamond in the rough and try to find value in a discarded QB like Cassel, or use high draft picks like Ponder and Bridgewater, but he is just hoping to get lucky. Vikings are Miami all over again, even hiring a Defense oriented coach in Zimmer.

  41. campcouch says: May 25, 2014 1:26 PM

    could it be that the entire team was bad.

  42. Norseman says: May 25, 2014 1:27 PM

    While I think it makes sense to have competition at the QB spot, and Ponder is still in his rookie contract so might as well keep him until a team is willing to trade a draft pick for him, you also have to be careful about giving out valuable first team reps to a guy who isn’t gonna be a starter or QBOTF. Ponder should be given 2nd team reps unless/until he proves himself worthy of anything more.

    Bridgewater needs the first team reps, and should get the most, followed by Cassel.

  43. petecarrolmorelikecheatpayroll says: May 25, 2014 1:29 PM

    ” I can’t quit you!” -Vikings to Ponder

  44. filthymcnastyi says: May 25, 2014 1:31 PM

    Packers window has closed!

  45. wallabear says: May 25, 2014 2:09 PM

    A team like the Vikings would be perfect for Timmy Tebow, since everything they do hinges on the success of Adrian Peterson — so there is less pressure on the QB-passing game. And Timmy has a great deep ball, which is actually more consistent than his shorter-to-intermediate throws. And Timmy has a “Viking” mentality, on top of all that. What a shame.

  46. ptfpoetlovestheseahawks says: May 25, 2014 2:25 PM

    And more sub .500 seasons to come….

  47. oldcracker says: May 25, 2014 2:25 PM

    What’s that definition of insanity?

  48. Satanic Hell Creature says: May 25, 2014 2:34 PM

    Who knows, he may become serviceable under real coaching. Even right now, he’s a decent #2 QB and a great #3 QB. This is the last year of his rookie contract, and I read somewhere he’s got almost no cap hit to the team this year. So, it’s a no brainer to keep him around this season and see if they can make anything out of the rest of his career.

    I did see NFLN report he did what no Packer fan ever has. This off season he dropped 2% body fat and gained 5lbs of muscle.

  49. 1bigtex says: May 25, 2014 2:40 PM

    Timmy Tebow???

    Can’t we bury the notion of Tim Tebow ever being a viable option as an NFL QB? He can’t throw accurately enough to do the job. Nice kid. Lousy NFL QB.

  50. iamthorny says: May 25, 2014 2:41 PM

    April Fools.

  51. wiseguy12 says: May 25, 2014 2:46 PM

    Ponder would have to improve significantly on decision making, accuracy and arm strength to compete for a starting spot. It isn’t happening, even with better coaching. Hopefully the combination of competition and new coaching can make all 3 better, but Cassel should be starting in 2014 with Bridgewater in the wings.

  52. msmith954 says: May 25, 2014 2:48 PM

    Ponder always said his mistakes were fixable and he would need to study film and figure out the right solution… then he would go out there the next game, poop his pants in the pocket, and make nothing happen. I only needed to see that twenty times before I passed judgment.

  53. thegonz13 says: May 25, 2014 2:57 PM

    Funny that they haven’t given up because the rest of the football world has.

  54. trapshoot says: May 25, 2014 3:01 PM

    Really quite a thing to ponder…

  55. newguy925 says: May 25, 2014 3:01 PM

    3 Qb = 0 Qb

    But remember Viking fans, someone has to eat minutes in that 4th preseason game. And if they keep him that long before cutting him the odds he comes back to haunt you this season (I can’t believe I wrote it either) are far less.

    This will also provide a template as to how to handle the Bridgewater situation in 3 years.

  56. mnjoemama says: May 25, 2014 3:09 PM

    Buffalo for a 7th please!

  57. stellarperformance says: May 25, 2014 3:19 PM

    Ponder is an OK quarterback. But he lacked the innate instinct that a QB needs when throwing to a location and the receiver has not made eye contact yet or even begun to turn and look for the ball. It takes a great amount of blind faith to do that, as well as receivers that run excellent routes. Ponder had neither.

  58. tremoluxman says: May 25, 2014 3:24 PM

    I laugh every time I read comments ripping on Bridgewater. Invariably, they are devoid of facts or statistics and reek of uninformed opinion. Do yourselves a favor and throw off your ignorance by comparing his college stats with the other QBs in this years draft. You might change your opinion.

  59. bdd1967 says: May 25, 2014 3:30 PM

    Uncle Rico is a better quarterback than Ponder

  60. alanaarhus says: May 25, 2014 3:44 PM

    The only way Ponder starts this year is if through hard off season work and coaching from the Turners he is w-a-a-a-a-a-ay better than he was last year. Wish him the best but I don’t see it happening.

  61. Paul M. says: May 25, 2014 3:50 PM

    If the Vikings want ticket sales they won’t play Ponder.

  62. purpleppleeaters says: May 25, 2014 4:06 PM

    I do hope Ponder resurrects his career, but it won’t be with the Vikings. Too many chances, too many failures. Cassel will start the season, Bridgewater will supplant him upon his first stumble or injury. There is little chance Ponder will see a regular season game. In fact, unless there are no other options, and he is owed dollars that must be paid, it is fruitless to keep him on the roster. Find an undrafted or cut rookie, and give him a shot. Ponder will not be a Viking in 2015.

  63. hawksfan99 says: May 25, 2014 4:07 PM

    My broom stick can play better then ponder…

  64. jjackwagon says: May 25, 2014 4:30 PM

    Duh…if they haven’t given up on Cassel why would they give up on Ponder?

  65. codiablo says: May 25, 2014 4:43 PM

    Speilman is like many girls I’ve dated…if i don’t care & play the game like sh*, just dump me already…christian needs to carouse!

  66. okemon says: May 25, 2014 4:47 PM

    all the haters are out in full, I see. It doesn’t make sense at this point in time to give up on Ponder. no one knows which QB will take off under the new system. one thing we do know, coach Zimmer will play the best QB with input from turner.

    QB’s in the past have struggled until landing in the right system. It may be the right system has come to MN for one or more of these QBs.

    I’m excited to see what transpires this off season. We know or expect with a high degree of certainty that Teddy B will develop into a solid QB. What we will find out is if Cassel or Ponder will take off under Norv Turners off.

  67. tahnoonzee says: May 25, 2014 4:48 PM

    why Ponder any longer?

  68. bassplucker says: May 25, 2014 5:12 PM

    Samantha had best be packing the boxes. They won’t be living there much longer.

  69. bobnelsonjr says: May 25, 2014 5:12 PM

    Ponder has the support of thousands of remaining vikings fans in Minnesota.

    For years they have told us how great Ponder will be at QB.

    With good coaching he could be better than Tarvaris Jackson, he just needs lots of reps with the new coaching staff.

    Giving all 3 QB’s an equal number of snaps in the best way to have a genuine competition and help the young ones learn.

  70. vikingcheesegrater says: May 25, 2014 5:14 PM

    Ponder can be a decent back up, but make no mistake. As soon as the Bridgewater pick was turned in, Ponder went from being the #2 to the #3 quarterback on the roster.

  71. whatjusthapped says: May 25, 2014 5:32 PM

    There are 31 other teams in the NFL and the Vikings are hoping against hope that one of them is hoodwinked into trading anything, a 7th rounder, for Ponder.

    But just a year ago, the very same Viking fans praising Teddy Bridgewater were on this web site telling us how Ponder was really going to hit his stride now that the Vikings signed Craig Jennings and drafted a WR in the 1st round.

    Funny how they can be wrong time after time and yet to continue to come back and predict great things for the Vikings, as if finishing in last place for 3 out of the last 4 years never happened.

  72. coachkilla6 says: May 25, 2014 5:32 PM

    Looks like Minny is ready to declare Bridgewater as yet another 1st round bust. Does that surprise anyone?

  73. MichaelEdits says: May 25, 2014 5:49 PM

    Their fans have given up on him.

  74. hawks1are1thebest says: May 25, 2014 6:07 PM

    From day 1 i had 0 faith in Ponder. He has been exactly how i thought he would be. He never deserved that 8th or whatever selection he got. Vikings are by far the worst drafting team in the NFL!!!!!

  75. dragonfly99 says: May 25, 2014 6:13 PM

    Makes perfect sense. Split up the snaps three ways throughout training camp so no one gets a lot of practice and all will be unprepared for the first half of the season. Great idea.

  76. bcgreg says: May 25, 2014 6:15 PM

    The second you drafted Bridgewater, you did!

  77. lnfinite says: May 25, 2014 6:28 PM

    Emergency qb/ special teams backup…..

  78. favresthumbdrive says: May 25, 2014 7:16 PM

    Cracks me up the bob nelson comments and what just happened (or whatever) comments. Green Bay scored with great quarterback. We all agree, we all know this. Do you not agree that without Aaron Rodgers you’d be screwed??? Hey guys take a pill…we know bridgewater/cassell/ponder sucks…let’s give it a few years. I’ll take a team vs. a one-man team any day. GB w/without Rodgers sucks. Correct me if I am wrong.

  79. jimmysee says: May 25, 2014 7:33 PM

    Ponder is obviously a great QB saddled with bad coaching and a bad system all these years.

    Reference –> Alex Smith who has shown what he can do now in Kansas City.

    Don’t let Ponder get away! He should be a starting for the Vikes.

  80. knew8411 says: May 25, 2014 7:45 PM

    Thats great….he’s going to get a chance to compete, and the Vikings havent given up on him.
    But most Vikings fans have given up on him. He hasnt proven that he can do much of anything consistently.

  81. okemon says: May 25, 2014 8:05 PM

    the best thing for Ponder is make the most of this off season. I agree the odds are against him right now. If he takes off in N Turners off then great. If he improves but just misses taking the starting position he will improve the trade stock. if he fails… well, he wont be around come fall. One of the Qb’s will win the starting job. I’m rooting for Teddy B but if he’s a solid 2nd its not the end of the season. I have a feeling he will enter at some point in the season. If he starts, he will have won the job, if not he will keep improving.

  82. isphet71 says: May 25, 2014 8:54 PM

    The Vikings may not have given up on Ponder yet, but the fans have. The Vikings won’t be too far behind.

  83. bigjim50010 says: May 25, 2014 8:55 PM

    sterling7 says:
    May 25, 2014 12:18 PM
    As a Viking 4life since 1968 the last coaching staff was grossly incompetent all the way around starting with the head coach (Leslie Frazier)-has anyone ever realized that? Maybe a competent coaching staff (which this is an excellent coaching staff) may fare far better!!!

    I thought Tice was the absolute worse….he was just lucky enough to have talent on those teams. Frazier had nothing but Petersen. I am a Packer fan and hate the Vikes…but more times than not they have had better talent, just no one to bring it all together.
    Hopefully the Zim can…

  84. 1twinsfan says: May 25, 2014 9:00 PM

    There were a few games last year where the Vikes defense blew a huge lead in the fourth qtr and that Ravens game was a joke. Ponder may not be the best but he isn’t as bad as people say,

  85. ubepunkedagain says: May 25, 2014 9:04 PM

    After getting a glimpse of baby hands Bilgewater up close, of course they are crawling back to Ponder. What a sad bunch of QBs on that roster. That team is a wreck. 3-13.

  86. gergie1957 says: May 25, 2014 9:19 PM

    Spielman can’t let go of his BIGGEST mistake ever. Ponder must go and Spielman right behind him. Note to Vikings, Just stop it.

  87. whodat5150 says: May 25, 2014 9:28 PM

    The reason they’re not giving up on him is bc R. Spielman doesn’t want to look like the idiot he is for moving up to drafting Christian “Poser”, after posing himself as an NFL caliber QB. Just like Loomis and Payton don’t want to look like buffoons for going back into the draft to pick up that bum M. Ingram.

  88. benjamin715 says: May 25, 2014 9:50 PM

    It would make more sense if they start Cassel. If not, then this means one thing…. “quarterback controversy”.

  89. In Teddy We Trust says: May 25, 2014 11:34 PM

    It didn’t help Ponder to be anointed the starter without any competition, so I think it makes sense to let everyone compete for the job. That doesn’t mean he has a realistic chance to be the starter, but if he surprises everyone and outperforms Cassel and Bridgewater, what does it hurt? They might be able to trade him for something. He would be the best backup QB Green Bay has had in years.

  90. r8dernation says: May 25, 2014 11:54 PM

    Of course they haven’t given up on him. That’s what makes the vikings the vikings. Duh.

  91. sc5000 says: May 26, 2014 12:37 AM

    As long as Charles Johnson is a top 5 lineman on this team who the QB is doesn’t matter.

  92. tcstunner says: May 26, 2014 2:30 AM

    While I’m not a huge fan of Ponder and won’t be sad to see him go I have to point out a few things. First, with Ponder at QB, the Vikes offense averaged over 27 pts a game. That should be enough to win quite a few games in the NFL. And second, with Ponder at QB the Vikes defense blew 5 games in the 4th quarter with under 2 minutes left. Five times he had them winning the game with under 2 minutes left and the Vikes lost. Last I checked he didn’t play defense. Do I think Ponder is some great QB? No. Is he as bad as some people try to make him out to be? No.

  93. jdubs82 says: May 26, 2014 8:30 AM

    Why would they “Give up” on him or refuse to let him take 1st team snaps. Its not like they are sticking with him, as in refusing to try to get another QB. He’s on his rookie contract (so he’s cheap), new coaching system maybe will get something out of him… if not they simply don’t re-sign him. There’s no real downside to keeping him on the team and allowing him to compete. And it really isn’t “worst case scenerio” if he wins the starting spot, now if he wins because everyone sucks that isn’t good. But if something happens and he plays great and earns the starting spot and turns into a young franchise QB, why is that bad?

    The worst case is that he sucks and bridgewater sucks and the Vikings are stuck with an aging inconsistent back up as the starter with no QB of the future, even thoough they have 2 QBs on their roster in their early to mid 20s.

  94. whatjusthapped says: May 26, 2014 11:55 AM

    avresthumbdrive says:

    I’ll take a team vs. a one-man team any day. GB w/without Rodgers sucks. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Ok, you’re wrong. What is this team that you speak of? The Vikings who finished in last plae 3 out of the last 4 years, that team? The Packers without Rodgers for 8 still took the division.

    Hate to break it to you but the goal is to win games, not count how many players went to the Pro Bowl. Good luck with Ponder and Teddy Too Small Hands Bustwater.

  95. realmenwearstripes says: May 26, 2014 4:08 PM

    Zim loves his project players.

  96. hawkstradamus says: May 27, 2014 8:30 AM

    The Vikings are real trend setters. Soon everyone will be using top ten picks on third string QBs.

  97. Satanic Hell Creature says: May 27, 2014 11:37 AM

    As long as Charles Johnson is a top 5 lineman on this team who the QB is doesn’t matter

    -Agreed, that’s why it’s a good thing they drafted Yankey. I think he’ll be the starting LG day one this year.

  98. Frazier28/7 says: May 27, 2014 12:25 PM

    Keep him around on a small contract to back-up Teddy, why not? you can always do much worse at backup

  99. toddc612 says: May 27, 2014 1:52 PM

    Everybody on the planet knows Ponder is god-awful and doesn’t deserve to play the QB position on an NFL team. I can only hope that this is a ploy in an attempt to get something, other than a sack of dirt, in a potential trade.

    The fans are done watching this guy lob passes into the dirt behind receivers. Believe me, the crowd in Minnesota will boo him relentlessly if he steps onto the field.

    I will rejoice in the day that I read he has finally been cut by Vikings — and ultimately puts the final nail in the coffin of the Spielman/Frazier combo legacy of awful football decisions.

  100. godofpft says: May 29, 2014 9:40 PM

    Slick Rick is about to con someone to take him…Houston maybe?

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