His flaws aside, Christian Ponder played well enough in Sunday's tie, particularly in the eyes of Leslie Frazier, to earn another start in Minnesota's next game at home against Chicago. That will be the Vikings' 12th game of the season. With just four more to go after that, it's safe to assume the noble Josh Freeman Experiment, whatever it once was, has taken on a much different course. At one point, we figured it would be a major shock if Ponder started again; now we would consider it an upset if Freeman does.


As such, we have to start asking this question: when considering smallest return on investment for major Twin Cities athletes, how high does Freeman rank?

Backup QBs are a necessity in the NFL, but this was a different circumstance. The Vikings already had a backup QB in Matt Cassel. They brought Freeman in as a luxury, presumably to kick the tires and see if they could light his fire. He started one game, was abysmal, was still slated to start the next game, then was diagnosed with a concussion. Now he's healthy enough to play but hasn't seen the light of day. The Vikings reportedly gave him $3 million for this season.

How does that chunk of change for a QB not serving as a backup who has played one game compare to ...

*The Twins signing Tsuyoshi Nishioka for a total of $14.5 million (including posting fee). Granted, a little over $3 million came back to them when he walked away from the final year of his contract. But still ...

*The injury-plagued Micheal Williams, who made more than $9 million in his final four seasons with the Timberwolves while playing a total of 37 games in that span.

Feel free to explore some other examples in the comments.

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