QB Christian Ponder unsure of return to Vikings next season
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said Thursday he isn't sure if he'll be back with the team next season, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Ponder is in the last season of his four-year, $10.15 million rookie contract. He said he hasn't thought about the free agency process and his potential return should the Vikings want to re-sign him.
Ponder is currently the team's backup quarterback after starter Matt Cassel went out for the season for a broken foot and former No. 2 Teddy Bridgewater was elevated to the starting role. Ponder was demoted to the team's No. 3 quarterback spot in training camp and could be faced with the same prospect next season if he re-signs with Minnesota.
It's unknown if the Vikings would consider bringing Ponder back. In his one start this season, when Bridgewater had to sit due to an ankle injury, Ponder completed just 50 percent of his passes, threw two interceptions and took six sacks in a 42-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 2.
He said he wants a chance to make up for his poor outing.
"Of course,'' said Ponder, taken by the Vikings with the No. 12 pick in the 2011 draft. "I want to be out there playing. I think everyone wants to be out there playing, especially when you have a game like what happened in Green Bay. I want to get out and play well and get a win under [my] belt. But my job right now is to help Teddy and be the backup and be prepared.''
Bridgewater returned to the lineup once he was healthy the week after the loss to the Packers.
Ponder, 26, started 10 games his rookie season and all 16 games in 2011, when he threw 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and helped lead Minnesota to its first playoff appearance since 2009 on the strength of league MVP Adrian Peterson. He started nine games last season but was eventually benched for Cassel.
Bridgewater has completed 61.1 percent of his passes this season for 812 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions.
The Vikings are 2-5 this season and in last place in the NFC North. They play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.