Hartman: Ponder not worried about extension deal

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 1, 2014 - 1:51 AM

The Vikings QB says he is busy learning a new offense, not wondering if his fifth-year option will be picked up.

Apparently there is no chance the Vikings will exercise their fifth-year option on quarterback Christian Ponder’s rookie contract for his services in 2015 when it comes due Saturday. The Vikings haven’t talked to Ponder nor his agent about it.

Under terms of the contract, the Vikings would have to sign Ponder for around $10 million in 2015, though the contract would only be guaranteed if Ponder got hurt. If they don’t exercise the contract, Ponder would become a free agent at the end of this season and have the right to sign with any other club.

Ponder said that while he knows the decision on his contract is coming up, he’s not worried about it.

“I won’t be disappointed [if they don’t extend it],” he said. “You know, honestly, I’m not focused on it at this point. So if it doesn’t happen I won’t be disappointed, if it does happen it doesn’t really mean that much because it’s not guaranteed unless there’s an injury. My whole focus right now is just competing and trying to learn this offense because it’s a lot right now during this offseason and during this minicamp. I’m trying to do the best I can to learn this and go out on the field and earn myself a job.”

Ponder was asked if he thinks the high price tag will keep the Vikings from offering him the extension.

“My expectation would probably be that you’re right, but again, if they exercise the option it’s not holding them to anything because they can cut me after this year and not pay me a dime,” he said. “So you know for me, it’s not what I’m focusing on. But if something happens, I’ll hear about it for sure.”

Ponder said that between learning new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system and battling for the starting quarterback job, the contract extension means little to him.

“It doesn’t make a difference [if they extend me],” he said. “I’m going to be in the meeting room trying to study my butt off, on the field practicing my butt off to be able to be out there and play, and that stuff will take care of itself.”

Does Ponder believe that having a new head coach and a drastically different coaching staff gives him a clean slate this year?

“I think it’s the same thing for everyone,” he said. “The past few years we haven’t done what anyone has wanted to do, and the same goes for me. I haven’t done what I wanted to do. These coaches are going to coach us hard and, I think, expect the very best out of us on every play. They’re hard coaches, and I think that’s good. It’s a clean slate for me. I’m going to try to learn as much as possible from Norv and Scott Turner and try to earn a position on the field.”

Ponder, who for his career has a 14-20-1 record and a 77.3 quarterback rating, said he knows the Vikings could still re-sign him if he performs at a high level this year.

“They could, [but] that stuff is all down the road,” he said. “That’s a year from now. There’s so much going on right now that it’s hard to even think about that stuff.”

What did Ponder do to prepare for what might be his most important season in Minnesota?

“I was in Phoenix and I started training in the middle of January,” he said. “I wanted to be in good shape coming into this thing and be prepared to go out and be able to lead and have more of a leadership role and to be able to compete on the field. I was at Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, and it was probably 12 to 15 guys that were working out there. I was throwing with the combine guys that are coming out in the draft right now. There were a number of receivers that were very talented out there and were actually good to throw to.”

Ponder was asked if he still believes he can be the starter for the Vikings. “I know I can do it,” he said without hesitation.

Did he have any doubts he would be back with the team this season?

“I didn’t know what was going to go on, but I’m glad I’m still here and I’m glad I’m getting an opportunity to compete,” he said. “We’re going to see what happens.”

Respect for Taylor

It is amazing the respect the NBA owners and Commissioner Adam Silver have for Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. Taylor served five years as chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors and then when his successor, Spurs owner Peter Holt, resigned the position in mid-April because of personal reasons, Taylor was brought back on an interim basis.

Now Taylor is involved and in the middle of the national issue surrounding Silver’s lifetime ban of Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the NBA’s attempt to force Sterling to sell the team.

Jottings

• Finance and Commerce reports that the Burnsville office of PCL Construction Services, in a teaming with Shawn-Lindquist Associates, and Mortenson Construction are the finalists for the $97 million remodeling contract of Target Center that will include improving the concourses, lobbies, entrances, lighting and audio-visual equipment and adding loading docks. The Minneapolis City Council is expected to name the contractor early in May.

• Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino was asked to describe his 2014 recruiting class of six players: “I think more than anything I think when we got here, we wanted to find a way to build kind of the way our team wants to play with athleticism, speed. I think we’ve successfully been able to do that. Year 1 certainly helped with the success that we had, it became a little easier talking to people about the year that we had. They saw us, they watched us. It’s never going to be easy, but it was certainly less difficult than when we arrived [in 2013], coming late to the party.”

• Michael Handel, the son of Gophers associate athletic director Randy Handel, is the starting shortstop for the Gophers baseball team.

• All of the Gophers football and basketball players are expected to be in summer school. The football players are not allowed to practice under the supervision of coaches; the basketball team is allowed to have limited practices under the coaches.

• Two incoming Gophers hockey recruits, Jack Glover and Ryan Collins, helped the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s Under-18 World Championships in Lappeenranta, Finland, over the weekend with a 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic. Glover had a goal and two assists in the tournament, while Collins had a couple of assists, including one in the gold medal game. Both have played with the U.S. National Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., for the past couple of seasons.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Ponder just wants a fair shot

    Thursday May 1, 2014

    Even though Matt Cassel is the presumed No. 1, the deposed starter would like to compete for the job.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati 2 Top 9th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 4th Qtr 13:37
(2) Alabama 30
Rice 10 4th Qtr 5:05
(17) Notre Dame 41
(10) South Dakota St 18 4th Qtr 5:56
(24) Missouri 35
Fla Atlantic 7 4th Qtr
(22) Nebraska 48
California 31 4th Qtr 8:33
Northwestern 21
Marshall 28 4th Qtr 11:15
Miami-Ohio 20
UC Davis 0 4th Qtr 14:50
(11) Stanford 38
Arkansas 21 3rd Qtr 2:39
(6) Auburn 35
(16) Clemson 7 2nd Qtr 14:33
(12) Georgia 14
Liberty 6 1st Qtr 4:44
(23) North Carolina 7
Ohio U 7 1st Qtr 4:37
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 2nd Half 25:00
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close