EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- We discussed the reasons the Minnesota Vikings might have for parting with Christian Ponder, and why the return they could receive -- either in the form of trade compensation or additional flexibility on their roster -- might outweigh the risks of carrying only two quarterbacks.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner used an example from his not-so-distant past to illustrate those risks, and he scolded fans for booing Ponder in the Vikings' first exhibition game.
"I think he's done everything he can do, and he's working his butt off," Turner said Tuesday. "He's a guy that's going to be valuable to our team. The thing in Cleveland [last season], we had three different guys have their career-best games in three different situations, and we didn't win the game because we gave up a touchdown at the end of the game, or something kept us from winning the game that was out of the quarterback's hands. I thought that happened to Christian a number of times last year. Having three quarterbacks, if that's the way we end up going, that's extremely valuable to me."
Fans didn't get a chance to react to Ponder during the Vikings' second exhibition game, of course, because he didn't see the field, and he didn't throw any passes in full-team work during Monday's practice. As we discussed on Monday, there's a valid reason to keep Ponder; not many teams have a third-string quarterback who has led a team to the playoffs, and he could be useful if Matt Cassel gets hurt or is ineffective and the Vikings want to control the circumstances in which they put Teddy Bridgewater on the field. In the end, the Vikings will have to place a value on those benefits, and determine whether it exceeds the value of parting ways with Ponder and adding a roster spot.
"There are advantages to going both ways," Turner said. "We'll adjust to whatever. I think we have a pretty good quarterback situation right now."