The general consensus is that Christian Ponder is not a franchise quarterback. After three average seasons under center with the Minnesota Vikings, many fans assumed that he’d been sent packing this offseason. However, in a turn of events, GM Rick Spielman has announced that Ponder will be kept on the team for another season.
2014 will mark the fourth and final season on Ponder’s rookie contract. But most fans just didn’t envision that he’d be playing out his contract after the way 2013 unfolded. Ponder was outshined by Matt Cassel and at the same time, he had trouble staying healthy. The writing for his exit from Minnesota seemed to be on the wall. But with the Vikings in a unique draft spot at No. 8 and with no guarantees they’ll be able to land a franchise QB, Spielman has decided to keep Ponder around.
The good news for Vikings fans is that Spielman also indicated the team will seek to add two more QBs, with one being of the young variety. The bad news, is that this could once again point to a QB competition situation in Minneapolis. Keeping Ponder around creates the possibility of a toxic environment yet again at the QB position.
Most think the Vikings are best served to completely part ways with Ponder and to start a new chapter. But at the same time, he wouldn’t be the worst QB to have in bullpen if things don’t pan out with the new QB. However, that kind of back-and-forth at the position is just what the Vikings should be trying to avoid.
Fans will know more about what direction the Vikings are going in here in a couple weeks with the start of free agency. Based on the moves made there, draft day plans will become much more clear. The door is still open for the Vikings to go QB at No. 8, just not as open as it was before the announcement of Ponder’s return.