NFL Minnesota Vikings

5 Potential Landing Spots For Christian Ponder At The NFL Trade Deadline

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5 Potential Landing Spots For Christian Ponder

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder came into the NFL as a first-round draft pick, even though everyone outside of the Minnesota Vikings front office thought he was a second rounder at best. He was immediately inserted into the starting spot, even impressing at times, but he never quite lived up to his first-round selection. Now the Vikings are looking to move on.

Ponder’s time in Minnesota peaked last year when he led them to a 10-6 record and a trip to the playoffs, including a four-game winning streak to end the season. That year Ponder was unexceptional but efficient, throwing for 18 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions. This year, however, he came out and threw only two touchdowns to five interceptions before he was sidelined with a broken rib.

Now that he is supposedly healthy, the Vikings have moved on. They signed Josh Freeman after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally gave up on him. So far that hasn’t exactly worked out, but the fact that they are sticking with Freeman is a clear signal that they are ready to be done with the Christian Ponder era.

What Ponder does have for them is some trade value. There are teams out there that also have question marks at quarterback who would be willing to give up a draft pick to give Ponder another shot in their city. It won’t be a first-round pick, but they might get something like a fourth or maybe a fifth-rounder for him.

The team that wants him won’t trade for him because they think he is the answer this year. We saw pretty clearly with the failed Freeman experiment on Monday night that you can’t bring a guy in and expect him to have success right away in the NFL, especially at quarterback. But there are a few teams out there who would want to give him the rest of this season to evaluate whether or not they should use a high draft pick on a rookie quarterback this spring.

These are the five teams who could be thinking about making a move for Ponder before the NFL trade deadline.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Pittsburgh Steelers

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger has been going downhill for a few years now, and it might be time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to start making other plans.

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4. Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Remember that time the Oakland Raiders traded two first-round picks for Carson Palmer? Yeah, so there was no way I could leave them off this list. Speaking of Palmer...

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3. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, Palmer isn't the answer to anyone's starting quarterback issues. There was a time he had what it takes to lead a team to wins, but that time has long past. The Arizona Cardinals need to make a real long-term investment in the position heading into next year.

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2. St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams had to have been thinking about replacing Sam Bradford even before his season-ending ACL injury. At least they could give Ponder the rest of the year as a tryout without any pressure of winning games.

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1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I just had to. The thought of two teams swapping underachieving quarterbacks just to avoid a worthwhile rebuild sounds exactly right for the NFL.