Apparently, being cut by the Oakland Raiders warrants a special article by The Iron Jaw.
Former Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is going to be released by the Raiders, after Matt McGloin beat him out for the backup job behind Derek Carr. This only begs to question, where will the 2011 1st-round pick lean on for another chance at his dream?
Ponder has only played one full season in the four he was in Minnesota. In that full season, he probably looked the best he ever has. Ponder accrued 300 completions, and threw more touchdowns than interceptions in 2012 (13 TDs, 13 INTs his rookie year). What should be said is he was only sacked an average of 2 times per game, which is the least of any other year, and should be noted his final two years, it was an average of three. Despite a decent, and some would say promising, showing in 2012, it seems he’s always been outdone by the likes of Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater.
Where I stand on Ponder, is he’d be a nice backup to have. But a stat that pops out at me is the average number of times sacked, per game. I think Christian Ponder needs to find a nice fit in the NFL with a good offensive line to be behind, and that is where Ponder will have the most success. I do want to take a moment to point a few of these teams out.
I’ll just get this one out of the way … The Cowboys are notorious for having one of the better offensive lines, if not the best, in all of football right now, confirming their faith in using three first round picks on offensive linemen (Smith, Frederick, Martin) in a four-year span. And it is no secret that if Tony Romo were to go down, this Cowboys team would look different than it is now. Because right now, the Dallas Cowboys have Brandon Weeden as their backup.
Christian Ponder would be headed to Dallas if Weeden was no longer there. Ponder has some experience in this league, and that’s why he’d be chosen over drafting a rookie in the 6th or 7th round to be the #2. Ponder, along with that offensive line, would have Dez Bryant, among other offensive weapons. I know this may be seen as a “homer” option, but as you can see, it makes some sense.
Another team who has a high-caliber quarterback. I told you Ponder would need to be a backup! … But to the sell, the Broncos have a decent offensive line, to say the least. In 597 drop backs in 2014, Peyton was only sacked 17 times, which is just over 1 time per game. After all, this was the reason Peyton Manning chose to sign with Denver, because he knew each week he had to put his neck on the line (literally), but knew he would need five guys in front to make sure he would see the next play. Not to mention, the Broncos just signed Evan Mathis from the Eagles. And the Broncos have Brock Osweiler as their #2, which I was high on him coming out of college, but would rather have Ponder there.
Christian Ponder makes a lot of sense here too. Aside from the good offensive line, he’d have Demaryius Thomas as a weapon, which some consider on the same level as Dez (I don’t, but that’s fine). Ponder would also have a luxury of having a good defense to make sure he wouldn’t have to get into shootouts every Sunday.
This may be my weakest, or least popular, option out there, but every good journalist has to have one option where readers are scratching their head, so here it goes! … We all know the backlash the former TCU stud has received, and fans feel it is “make-or-break” for Dalton heading into 2015. You can’t blame his poor play on his offensive line, as they only allowed for Dalton to be pulled to the ground 21 times in 2014. But what happens if the Bengals don’t want Dalton anymore, but another team comes calling for his services? What then?
Here is where Christian Ponder comes in. Many feel that AJ McCarron, drafted out of Alabama in 2014 where he helped in the Crimson Tide dynasty, would be the guy to take over. What those “many” fail to realize, is many college quarterbacks have thrived at the college level, and haven’t had the same consistency and longevity in the NFL as starters, with guys like Manziel, Griffin III, Leinart, and Tebow coming to mind. So Christian Ponder could not only come in as the backup of the Bengals, but could push to be the starter for the team as well. Once again, he’d be with a good offensive line, and a star WR, with this time it being AJ Green.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even with offensive lines being an occurring them in this article, that won’t be the case with this option that at least has to be mentioned … Okay, I’ll be blunt with this team, being they are a pathetic offensive line. 52 sacks combined between Glennon and McCown last season. They did draft towards the offensive line, and we may also be forgetting they drafted a quarterback with the #1 overall pick.. That’s right, it was Jameis Winston. Talk about people who won a Heisman, yet may falter.. But that’s a story for another time. The reason I bring up the Buccaneers, is Ponder actually has ties here.
The head coach that drafted Christian Ponder is now in Tampa Bay, albeit as a defensive coordinator, that is where Coach Leslie Frazier resides. It’s not hard imagining Frazier going up to Lovie Smith and asking if Ponder could get a tryout with the team. Considering the continued distrust surrounding Mike Glennon, and the Jameis Winston NFL theory being unproven, it’s not far-fetched to see Ponder come in as a backup for the Bucs. Again, he’d have Mike Evans to be throwing to, who made Johnny Football look like a football phenom.
I truly feel we have not seen the last of Samantha Ponder’s husband. I also feel he’d make a good backup in this league, placed in the right situation where people would trust the team in his hand’s in the worst case scenario.