Who Wants to Be Christian Ponder’s Valentine?


Christian Ponder has it locked down from a life-partner standpoint, and even has the baby thing going now, but career-wise the waters are a little murkier for the former #12 overall draft pick.

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When the new league year begins in a couple weeks, the one-time Vikings starter will officially be a free agent. Coming off a season in which he played only one game, and looked really awful in that game, what kind of market will there be for the 26-year-old veteran?

Will any NFL team want to be Christian Ponder’s Valentine?

There are teams out there that need a quarterback, either a starter or a backup or in some cases both. A quick breakdown of potential Ponder suitors:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa just let Josh McCown walk. They have Mike Glennon but few seem to believe he is the answer. Tampa currently holds the #1 overall pick so if they want Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, they can make that happen.

Tampa let McCown go as much because of salary as anything. If they want a low-cost veteran to compete with Glennon and/or whatever QB they draft, Ponder could be someone they look at. Unless current DC Leslie Frazier advises Lovie Smith otherwise.

Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker appears to be on his way out of Tennessee. Zach Mettenberger is in the mix there but the Titans also hold the #2 pick and could bring in a Winston or a Mariota if they chose.

Ponder arriving in Tennessee to replace Locker, who was taken several spots ahead of him in the 2011 draft, would seem unlikely.

New York Jets

The Geno Smith experiment rolls on in New York. Michael Vick very likely will not be back as his #2.

Would Jets fans get excited about a Geno Smith vs. Christian Ponder camp battle? No. Not really.

Cleveland Browns

Brian Hoyer is a free agent which leaves Johnny Manziel as the #1 QB for the time being. THEY COULD HAVE HAD TEDDY!

Predicting what Cleveland might do with their quarterback situation is like predicting Gary Busey. I mean who even frigging knows? Nothing would surprise me, frankly.

Houston Texans

Case Keenum and Ryan Mallett are both hitting free agency. Tom Savage is the only QB in place for next year.

Houston probably should try to move up from 16 and draft a QB this year. That whole QB thing has been a problem for them for years and frankly I don’t think Tom Savage is the answer. Adding Ponder to the mix there would be another lateral move, it seems to me. They need to really make something happen and the draft is the only way to do that this year.

Buffalo Bills

Kyle Orton’s retirement left them in the lurch. E.J. Manuel goes into camp as the tentative #1 but Buffalo will certainly add a QB or two.

Another team with a messed-up QB situation. Pitting Ponder against Manuel in an epic camp battle of former Florida State QBs would be funny but probably not helpful.

Washington Redskins

The eternal RG3 question doesn’t look like it will get answered any time soon. Colt McCoy is a free agent and Kirk Cousins is Kirk Cousins.

If the Redskins want a veteran backup who is no particular threat to RG3’s ego, Ponder might be a good pickup.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams could part ways with Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill is a free agent.

Ever-injured Sam Bradford has more upside than healthy Christian Ponder, which is sad. Maybe as a backup?

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders have their #1 in Derek Carr but could be in the market for a veteran #2 if they decide to dump Matt Schaub and Matt McGloin.

This is only here because Bill Musgrave is the Raiders’ OC now and it’s funny to think that Musgrave would want to bring in Ponder. Of course Musgrave would NOT want to bring in Ponder. Not in a million years.

No doubt as the offseason shuffle continues more backup positions will come open. What if Seattle decides not to bring back Tarvaris Jackson? What if Chicago decides to move on from Jimmy Clausen? What will the Packers do with Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien? There will be a ton of QB movement this year as teams dump ineffective players in search of slight upgrades. Will some GM decide to take a shot with Ponder?

It would be very sad to see Ponder end up at the end of the process without a single Valentine’s card in his mailbox. I have to believe there is someone out there who’s willing to look beyond his many many warts and see what’s special about him underneath. True, he can’t really make a lot of the throws and his pocket presence is non-existent, but what about his heart and character?

Don’t despair Christian Ponder, I’m sure there’s someone out there for you. And if there isn’t? Christian can spend his days changing diapers, watching TV and waiting for his hot wife to come home from work. It could be worse.

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