Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) and quarterback Christian Ponder (7) during warmups before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings Position Battle: Quarterback


It’s that time of year where a team is loaded up on talent at many positions.  Sadly, not all of those players will go on to make the 53 man roster or the practice squad.  This the the first installment in the Minnesota Vikings position battle series and is all about the quarterbacks!

Let’s take a look at the passers currently on the roster:

Here’s a quick breakdown of each of these guys.

May 31, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during the 2014 NFLPA Rookie Premiere at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater is a first round draft pick and a rookie.  He is being brought in to the organization as the hopeful quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings.  However, with an excellent preseason, Bridgewater could find himself as the team’s starting quarterback going into the regular season.

Christian Ponder is the wild card of this group.  As a former first round draft pick, the Vikings have invested a ton in this young man.  Sadly, they appear ready to cut ties with him after not picking up the fifth year on his contract.  Ponder will have to be impressive in camp to secure a spot on the roster.

Matt Cassel will enter the preseason as the penciled in starter for the Minnesota Vikings.  After paying him more than a typical NFL backup quarterback makes, Cassel will be the man that all the other QBs are aiming to be better than in camp.  But will he play well enough to hold on to the starting job this year?

My Prediction:

Starting Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater

Backup Quarterback: Matt Cassel

Analysis

The concept of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster is nearly obsolete these days, so there will probably be one man that doesn’t make the cut.  I expect Bridgewater to win the starting job in camp.  With Cassel outperforming Ponder in every instance of his game, Ponder would be the odd man out.  If the Minnesota Vikings need a QB3 in a pinch, they could always turn to rookie running back Jerick McKinnon, who played quarterback in college.

The Vikings will most likely try to trade Ponder.  If they are unable to find a trade partner, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him outright released during final cuts.

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Tags: Christian Ponder Jerick Mckinnon Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater

  • Gordon Guffey

    This is sad ~ LOL ~ Another Ponder hater cant wait for him to be gone and so sure (((without any proof))) that Teddy will beat out Cassel and be a pro bowler his first year ~ I’m still shaking my head at this kind of thinking ~ Its silly ~ I hope your right and Teddy is a stud of a QB in his first year ~ ((( I like eating crow if it means the Vikings improve )))

    The same can be said of those that have Patterson making the pro bowl as a WR ~ There is no one more hopeful that I of such a thing happening than me ~ He did play well at times last year but he has a long ways to go ~

    Last but not least the Vikings have carried 3 QB sense Chilly became the HC ~ Spielman could have put a end to it when Chilly was fired but he didn’t ~ No need to believe any different until Spielman makes the move for the first time sense joining the Vikings ~ Until then its a better bet that it will be Cassel~Ponder~Bridgewater in the order of their play in TC and the preseason ~

    • https://www.facebook.com/PurplePeoplePodcast Adam Carlson

      I’m definitely not a Ponder hater. I think he can be a very solid backup in the NFL. I’ve supported him since he was drafted as a Viking and stuck by him through three seasons of struggling. I kept hoping for him to improve, but he continually failed to do so.

      And I agree totally about Patterson. He has Pro Bowl talent as a WR, but hasn’t quite realized it yet. He should develop into a great WR and hopefully perennial Pro Bowler, but I wouldn’t put him there just yet. For now, he’s one of the best return men in the league with a huge WR potential.

      Yes, the Vikings have carried 3 QBs last year, but like I said, that is something that isn’t happening nearly as much as it did in the past around the league. My prediction is just that – mine. I don’t see this new coaching staff recommending to keep a third QB when they have an emergency QB on the roster and need to hold as many pass rushers and corners as possible.

      I’d love to be able to say that Minnesota should keep Ponder, but what is the upside? What is the benefit of having him as the backup instead of Teddy Bridgewater? Are we that stuck in the past traditions that changes are something we can’t fathom? I’m expecting to see a bunch of totally different things from this Vikings team this year.

      And I never said Bridgewater will be a Pro Bowler this year, but I do think that he can play well enough to win the starting job over Cassel and Ponder. Yes, it’s just speculation, but it’s something I think can happen.

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you reading and commenting!

  • MikeH123

    Bridgewater starts. He is pro ready and the Vikings didn’t spend another first round pick on a QB to ride the pine.

  • Bob T

    I still would like to hold off on Teddy. Seen too many rushed in and failed, and seen so many learn and excel. Maybe he is ready, but week one? There are veterans that say it is a lot to learn. IMO CP7 will be gone in August. As mentioned McKinnon did a lil QBing and the highest bonus check went to Colter who did some too. Just saying. SKOL VIKINGS!!!

  • Daniel Laxen

    “The concpet of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster is nearly obsolete these days, so there will probably be one man that doesn’t make the cut.”

    This concept isn’t out of date in Minnesota. Last year they kept 4 QBs on the roster the entire season, if you count Joe Webb?…hat said, I believe the Vikings will keep all 3 on the roster at this point. That is unless they find a willing trade partner for Ponder. For those that continue to believe Ponder has any future in the Twin Cities I fear you are sadly mistaken.

    Cassel will obviously start the pre season as the #1, but should Teddy really be ready, and should the coaching staff think he gives the Vikings the best opportunity to win, then he could well be the starter come the 1st game of the season…

    Autopsy- To see with one’s eyes…What more do any Viking fans need to se from Ponder? We’ve seen the results. Year one, ok he had no camp and was behind. He had no receivers when did start. He did have AP and a defense that led the league in sacks. He had plenty of time year 2 to become he guy. AP has 2000 yards and Ponder is just awful in the pocket facing single high safety coverage down after down. The offensive line was ranked near the top in the NFL. This showed early on when Ponder led the league throwing very few INTs. The league then learned about Ponder and changed strategy. When teams found out they played quarters coverage and Ponder chose to flee he pocket and didn’t trust his reads. He couldn’t throw a timing pattern either. Something the offense was predicated on with AP as the feature. Musgrave trimmed the playbook and somehow the Vikings made the playoffs? In spite of Ponder’s shortcomings. Year 3 was filled with hope, but when the defense was as bad as it was the Vikings had to outscore their opponents. Ponder lost his starting job after 3 games and probably should have when you realize the defense scored nearly as many points as the offense was scoring. The team lost faith in Ponder and Cassel was named starter. This is when the fiasco that was the QB situation reared it’s ugly head…

    Spielman obviously didn’t believe in Ponder when they signed Freeman and chose to lay him after 12 days following his signing. That should have told you something about the Vikings upper management a well. They all feared for their jobs! Desperate times call for desperate measures. That’s what went on. How can many believe Ponder still has a career in Minnesota? Perhaps as a back up, but not starting, unless of course Spielman gets desperate again?

    • Gordon Guffey

      While a lot of what you said is true one has to remember that when the OC calls run run pass its not to hard for a defense to defend that kind of offense ~ Plus we all saw the size of Musgrave’s play card ~ The same is true for Cassel and had Bridgewater been playing for Musgrave he most likely wouldn’t have play any better ~

      I dont believe Ponder is a NFL starting QB but he is the ultimate team player as Teddy has said himself he has been willing to help him anytime he asks him something ~ They watch film together after everyone else goes home ~ Ponder is a QB coach if nothing else and the Vikings dont seem to mind or think he is leading Teddy down the wrong path ~ For a backup its hard to find someone who is willing to do this knowing he might be cut or traded when all is said and done ~

      • Daniel Laxen

        Sometimes the game just doesn’t slow down. I’d expect that’s what has happened with Ponder…