Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) is sacked by Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) during the first quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Oh the Christian Ponder fifth year option question. Must have been such a difficult decision for Rick Spielman to make.
Exercise the option and control Ponder’s rights for a fifth season, putting the team at risk of having to pay him over $9 million in 2015, or not exercise the option and have no risk whatsoever but lose the chance to retain Ponder.
I bet Spielman lost a lot of sleep over that one.
In case you didn’t know, this is my sarcastic face.
To no one’s surprise, the Vikings reportedly have declined to exercise Ponder’s option for 2015. To kick in the option, the Vikings would have had to submit their intentions in writing to the NFL ahead of tomorrow’s deadline.
Cam Newton‘s option was picked up by Carolina, making him the only first round QB from that year to warrant being retained for a fifth year.
As many have pointed out, there would have been little risk involved had the Vikings elected to pick up Ponder’s option. Per league rules, Ponder’s $9 million-plus guaranteed money for 2015 would only have been paid had he suffered an injury during 2014 that carried over to the next year.
The Vikings could have picked up the option and, barring such a catastrophic injury, still cut him without having to pay him a nickel.
But even that small risk wasn’t small enough for Rick Spielman. Ponder will now be allowed to test free agency at the end of 2014.
The decision should cause little stress for Mr. Ponder, who said on Thursday that he wasn’t worried about the option.
That’s how Ponder rolls. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff.