Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings sign Ponder; re-sign Evans

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, NFC, Vikings draft Updated: July 31, 2011 - 11:14 AM

MANKATO -- The Vikings continued to sign their draft choices on Sunday with first-round pick Christian Ponder agreeing to a deal.

That means the quarterback will be able to report on time as the Vikings arrive today in Mankato. Players already have started to report and will begin practicing on Monday.

Quarterbacks Jake Locker, drafted eighth by Tennessee, and Blaine Gabbert, drafted 10th by Jacksonville, both received four-year, $12 million deals with the money guaranteed. Ponder's deal will be for a bit less, closer to $10 million, but also will be guaranteed. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all first-round picks will have four-year contracts with a non-negotiable fifth-year option.

The Vikings also agreed to terms with defensive back Mistral Raymond, a sixth-round pick. The Vikings are expected to have all 10 of their draft choices under contract by the end of today.

The team also has re-signed nose tackle Fred Evans, who was a free agent. Evans has been with the Vikings since 2007 and last season had five tackle and two tackles for losses in eight games.

Ponder, the 12th pick in the draft, is expected to serve as the backup to Donovan McNabb this season.



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