At initial glance, you might find the title to this entry to be an example of stating the absolute most obvious in the world of sports. But given the fact that the Minnesota Vikings have declared their quarterback competition this year to be completely open, the status of a former starter needs to be accounted for…especially when his “veteran competition” is Matt Cassel, right?
Christian Ponder, a former first round pick in a moment that will pain Vikings’ fans for years to come, has the same chance to win the starting job in 2014 as Cassel and rookie first-rounder Teddy Bridgewater. Or at least that is technically the case.
Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes that Ponder is most likely to be the one on the outside looking in:
I don’t see Christian Ponder as having better than an outside chance at the starting job for a couple reasons. First, the Vikings have a clearer stake in their other two quarterbacks — Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater — than they do in Ponder. They signed Cassel to a two-year deal, took Bridgewater in the first round of the draft and will let Ponder become a free agent after this season.
Ponder’s name is mud in Minnesota; such is the pressure that comes with being a first round selection and failing to deliver results. That’s a funny thing, of course: few people had Ponder graded as a first round talent at the time. He probably wasn’t expecting it either. What’s he supposed to do? Ask the Vikings to draft him later?
Regardless, he had his chance at the gig and flopped. Now it is onto Bridgewater, with Cassel possibly providing a bridge and Ponder the odd man out.