Thoughts from our readers on Christian Ponder's trade value
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Tuesday's opening of NFL free agency was a flurry of activity. I was getting ready to leave the studio to go record our weekly Sports Over Beers podcast, when a piece of surprising news floated across my Tweetdeck.
That Jacksonville Jaguars traded Blaine Gabbert for something of value.
San Francisco parted ways with a 6th-round pick to sign the failed quarterback. I couldn't believe it. I felt compelled to post something. I wanted to know what our readers thought about the possibility of trading Christian Ponder, because they were drafted just two picks apart in the 2011 NFL Draft, and both have flopped as professionals.
Responses are diverse, and I'm going to share them here. There seem to be three distinct camps:
- 'Trade him for anything';
- 'Hold on to him in case of disaster;
- 'I've got a joke that you all might like.'
I can see the logic in all three. It's worth noting, I think, that the transitive property doesn't exactly apply to sports. We can say for a fact that that Gabbert netted a 6th-round draft choice. We also can say for a fact that many think Ponder is a better quarterback than Gabbert. We cannot, however, combine those facts to say that Ponder would net a higher draft selection. There only are 30 other teams, now that San Francisco is taken off the table in all likelihood. (That number could be 29, because presumably the Jaguars are not looking to secure Ponder, but that's speculative.)
Maybe trading with the 49ers was the only window of opportunity and that window now has been shut.
Here's what our readers had to say. Thanks for commenting and sharing your insight.
There's the expected and accepted snark:
"A case of athletic tape." -Josh Petschke
"I would take anything better than a box of forks and be happy." -Michael Crow
"2 used jockstraps OR.. a collection of 8 track polka tapes." -Jacqueline Schroeder
"Two words for Ponder: Go and away.Take your happy feet and noodle arm with you. If you can prove us wrong elsewhere, good for you. OK, that's more than two words. I couldn't help myself." -David Ballingrud
"any pick i would be happy with" - Samuel Draper
"I would take Ponder over Gabbert! But at the same time, just a shot to take mr. Irrelevant would make me trade him!" -Aquiles Vasconcelos
The keep-him camp:
"Getting past all the snarky comments to reality, if someone makes a good offer- a #4 or better- and we have a viable back-up, you can pull the trigger. But if you look around the league and stop whining over a first rounder that didn't work out, there aren't many 2nd stringers who are honestly better than Ponder for that role. You need a backup because starters get dinged, so don't cut off your toes because your shoes don't quite fit. If we get a rookie who isn't afraid of the NFL and will stand in the pocket, then you can trade Ponder. This year it would be crazy to let him go when he is essentially free, but when we are stocked again at the position, a trade if he is under contract, or letting him go as an UFA, are fine." -Duane Oyen
"Let's say Cassel goes down next season. We will clearly have a good offense, and improved defense to go with it, do you want the starting QB job to be turned over to developmental QB like AJ McCarron, or Murray, or would you feel better about Ponder being the next guy up? I can't say I feel STRONGLY either way, but with Ponder, we've seen him win games, not a ton, and more bad than good, but for a guy to hold down the fort for a few weeks should Cassel get hurt, I'd take him over a rookie. This is no longer a rebuild, we are shooting for the playoffs this year." -Greg Proctor
"Might be best to hold off on any trade unless a team offers something you can't refuse. That is highly unlikely. A more likely scenario would to have some team's #1 or #2 QB to go down in the preseason. I would consider Ponder a solid back up. I think a lot of teams contending would like to have him for a plan B option if their starter was to go down."-Shawn Gooderum
"Keeping Ponder as the back up seems to me to be the way to look at this season. There were times when he was more than adequate [although they were few and far between] and to believe that Cassel will not be dinged at some point in the season is believing in the tooth fairy." -Bill Gross