The Minnesota Vikings have been dealing with trade rumors involving Christian Ponder since drafting Teddy Bridgewater, but Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer are likely to keep Ponder, Bridgewater and Matt Cassel on the roster, saying that having three QBs is an option and that means a trade to the Houston Texans or Cleveland Browns is likely off the table.
Ponder has been mostly a disappointment since being a first round pick for the Vikings, but he can be a solid backup now and that is one of the main reasons why the coaching staff isn't looking to trade him. Peter King wrote on the MMQB earlier this summer that the Vikings likely would not trade Ponder, as they may want to keep an experienced backup behind Matt Cassel in case Teddy Bridgewater is forced to start if there's an injury.
King writes that the team is expecting Bridgewater to be a solid starter in this league, but with a new head coach and coordinator, they also want to give the team the best chance to win and rushing the rookie may not be the best way to do that. According to Pro Football Talk, the Vikings are looking to keep three quarterbacks this season and that comes from a quote from Zimmer reported by Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The team has Turner in at OC and the report says that he had all three of his QBs in Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell get used last season and that could play out again.
Zimmer also spoke about the booing that Ponder received in the preseason and while he said it's understandable, he also added that Ponder is working hard. The team also can look at making a trade during the season depending on how things play out, as they could have a situation where Bridgewater is starting at one point and Cassel is the backup. Trading Ponder would be easier for the team in that situation, but right now it looks like a deal will not be happening before the season.
The Browns have made their move with Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer, with Hoyer getting the starting nod, while the Texans may want to deal at some point to upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick. The team also has Case Keenum and rookie Tom Savage and that could lead to head coach Bill O'Brien to look for an upgrade. Fitz has guaranteed money, so he likely will get a chance, but if he falters the team could look to make a move.
The Vikings are looking to bounce back this season after winning just five games last year and that came with Ponder starting at some points. Matt Cassel had a hand in all five of those victories and that has put fans in an adversarial stance against Ponder and they likely will keep it that way unless he starts showing some major progress. The Vikings feel that having three QBs is the right way to go to start the season and in the future a trade could be an option depending on how things play out.