Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman wants everyone to know that picking up quarterback Josh Freeman is not a reflection of former first-round pick Christian Ponder. Too bad no one will believe him.
In a conference call with reporters Monday night, according to Pro Football Talk, Spielman had the following to say:
I’ve spoken with Christian. I’ve spoken with Matt. I’ve spoken with [McLeod] Bethel[-Thompson] as well and Josh knows the situation as well. This is no determination on where Christian Ponder is. We think Christian Ponder has a bright future.
Part of my job is to make sure I’m trying get the best 53 players on this roster. At the end of the season, we’ll make an evaluation like we always do and determine that going forward but by no means is this a reflection on we’re disappointed in Christian Ponder or disappointed in Matt Cassel or disappointed in Bethel, it was just an opportunity to go out and add another football player that we have high regard for.
Let’s not pretend that picking up Freeman isn’t an indictment on Ponder, because that’s all it can be, based on Ponder’s own play.
So far this season, Ponder has completed just 59-percent of his passes and has thrown five interceptions and just two touchdown passes. That is ridiculous considering the defenses are stacking the box to stop superman running back Adrian Peterson.
In the past, Ponder got a pass for being young and not having much in terms of weapons at the wide receiver position, but this offseason the Vikings picked up some weapons, and Ponder has improved. The Vikings only win this season comes with Matt Cassel under center. That’s right, Matt Cassel.
While what Spielman said is technically correct, Freeman does improve the Vikings roster in terms of talent, you don’t bring in a young, former starting quarterback for $3 million if you think the talent is already on the roster. When it comes down to it, Ponder is jus not giving the Vikings the best chance to win games.
Will Freeman put the Vikings in a better position now or in the future, it’s hard to say. But anyway you spin it, Ponder is just not the guy for the job.