RandBall: With Gabbert traded, there should be a trade market for Ponder
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- March 12, 2014 - 4:36 PM
We just met with Linval Joseph, the defensive tackle the Vikings nabbed away from the Giants. Joseph is a big man, he admires Pat Williams and he wants to win a second career Super Bowl with the Vikings. Those are all good things. The proof will be on the field, but he didn't say anything to dissuade us from having a positive impression of the signing.
But the biggest thing on our mind Vikings-wise today is this: Blaine Gabbert was traded about 24 hours ago from the Jaguars to the 49ers for a sixth-round pick.
Gabbert was in the same draft class as Christian Ponder, so they are in similar situations in the final year of their rookie deals -- Gabbert as the No. 10 overall pick in 2011, Ponder as No. 12.
You can argue Gabbert had less to work with in Jacksonville than Ponder has had in Minnesota, and you are not wrong. But we would also argue this: As uneven as Ponder has been -- and that's a complimentary term -- he has had a more successful three-year run than Gabbert.
Gabbert has a career passer rating of 66.4, a completion percentage of 53.3 and a record as a starter of 5-22.
Ponder's numbers: 77.3, 60.2 and 14-20-1, including a 10-6 mark and trip to the playoffs in 2012.
If there is a market for Gabbert, even as a reclamation project with the 49ers, there has to be a market for Ponder as a backup quarterback. Even if you want to argue Gabbert has more upside because his situation in Jacksonville was so bad, Ponder's accomplishments far surpass those of Gabbert.
The Vikings have already signed Matt Cassel, giving him more money than they did a year ago. He's making enough to be the clear-cut starter. Vikings brass has already said they will add another QB in the draft. Our guess at this point is that it won't be with the No. 8 pick, but that's just a guess. We would bet a lot of money on it being someone at least in the first three rounds. That QB should at least be considered the No. 2 guy.
For the sake of everyone -- Cassel after what transpired in 2013, the fans, and even Ponder -- we would hope the Vikings are making every effort to get anything they can for their former first-round pick. If Gabbert fetched a sixth-rounder, we have to think Ponder would at least do the same if not slightly better.
© 2015 Star Tribune