The Vikings won’t pick up QB Christian Ponder’s 2015 option, NFL.com’s Marc Sessler reports. Ponder, the 2011 Draft’s 12th Overall Pick, is due to make $9.6 million this season, despite the fact that he might not even make the team.
Anyway, in his first three NFL seasons in Minnesota, Ponder has struggled pretty badly, throwing just 38 TDs and 34 INTs. To go along with those numbers, the guy has also put together a low 77.3 QBR, another reason why this decision was probably an easy one to make.
Interestingly, Ponder told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune earlier this week that he believes the team’s expectation is that Matt Cassel, not him, will be the team’s starter in 2014, meaning that even he seems to see himself as being on the decline.
“I think the expectation is that [Cassel is] going to be a starter,” Ponder said. “But for me, I’m competing for the job. That’s what’s going on in my mind. It’s a competition. It’s a clean slate for all of us. I don’t think any of the coaches have made a decision about what’s going on yet, but hopefully the best guy gets to play.”
While it’s safe to say at this point that Ponder seems like a bust, it just continues to highlight the difference it makes having an elite quarterback like Aaron Rodgers and missing on yet another potential franchise guy as the Vikings appear to have done with Ponder. It’s been three years since Minnesota picked Ponder in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft and as we enter the 2014 draft, their need at quarterback is as big as ever.