Vikings: Quick takes on QB items
April, 16, 2014
By Ben Goessling | ESPN.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Some quick thoughts on a few Minnesota Vikings quarterback items:
- By May 3, NFL teams have to decide whether they will exercise fifth-year contract options for 2011 first-round picks, keeping those players under contract through the 2015 season. Those options are guaranteed only against injury; otherwise, teams face no penalty for cutting a player before the start of the 2015 season. If the Vikings picked up quarterback Christian Ponder's option for the 2015 season, and Ponder played under that contract, it'd cost the team the average of the third through 25th-highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, or $9.686 million. As expensive as that number sounds, the Vikings could always buy insurance against injury and pick up the option if they saw any chance of offensive coordinator Norv Turner coaxing more out of Ponder, who doesn't figure to be on the field -- and at risk of injury -- that much in 2014 anyway. The decision will indicate what the Vikings still think they have in Ponder: whether they see any potential left, or whether they're just hanging onto him as a backup in case they only take a developmental QB in the draft. General manager Rick Spielman has said Ponder "will be here" in 2014, but if the Vikings did decide to cut him, they would realize a cap savings of $1.76 million.Ponder
- Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray threw at his pro day on Wednesday morning, five months after tearing his ACL, but the Vikings reportedly only had a scout there. General manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer were both at the team facility during the Vikings' offseason workout on Tuesday, and the Vikings have draft hopefuls in town on Wednesday and Thursday for their top-30 prospects event. They've typically been sending Spielman, Zimmer and Turner to meet with quarterbacks after their pro days, and though the Vikings could still schedule a private workout with Murray between now and the draft, their approach to his pro day might indicate he's not as high on their list as other quarterbacks. Then again, we're in that time of year where teams are doing their best to conceal their intentions, and it's always possible the Vikings are trying to do that with Murray.