Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder has valued his time with the Vikes so far, but he says he wants to play more, and he is very interested in being traded.
According to USA Today's Tom Pelissero, Christian Ponder is very interested in a trade if the Minnesota Vikings could work out a deal with another team. Last season Ponder was the starter, but this year he finds himself running the third-string offense in training camp, looking up at Matt Cassel who is the new starter, and at rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who is suppose to be the future QB.
But Ponder knows a deal is unlikely given his struggles last season, and he says he is making the most of his time under a new offensive staff led by coordinator Norv Turner, even though he is only getting a few reps in practice.
"There are benefits for me being here," Ponder told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. "I'm learning a lot. It's less stressful. At the same time, I've always got to be ready, because football's a crazy game."
I could play at some point. But it's an opportunity for me to learn. I do really feel like it's going to benefit me in the long run," he continued. "If something happens - I get traded, or there's an opportunity elsewhere to play - I want to play. But this is where I am right now. I can't control it."
If a deal were to happen, there are a few teams that might find value in Ponder, especially if he has matured and learned from last season, as he says. Ponder is only 26, and he was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 draft, and obviously has the athleticism and talent to do the job. He started 35 games over his first three NFL seasons, but he lost the job for good in 2013, when he posted a 77.9 passer rating in nine starts. He has shown patience passing the ball in the past though, and has great accuracy when he gets protection.
So who could use Ponder, you ask? Here are three teams that might look really smart for taking a chance on him.
1. NY Giants - Behind Eli Manning, the Giants have Curtis Painter who was waived by Indianapolis and Baltimore before landing in New York. He has never had any success in the NFL. Behind Painter they have unproven rookie Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse.
2. Chicago Bears - Behind Jay Cutler they have perennial backup Jordan Palmer, never quite there Jimmy Clausen and rookie David Fales. If they end up needing someone to relieve Cutler, Ponder would give them a better option.
3.Arizona Cardinals - Ponder could compete with the aging Carson Palmer for the starting job. Palmer threw 22 interceptions last year, second most in the league behind Eli Manning. Behind Palmer the Cards have Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley and Thomas Logan.
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