Turner sees 3rd QB as 'extremely valuable'; will Ponder make the cut?
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Cuts are around the corner. After this weekend's third preseason game, teams will shed 15 players from 90-man training camp roster, and soon thereafter, trim down to 53.
In the hunt to save roster spots, some attention from fans and media has turned toward third quarterback Christian Ponder. Considering that if it gets to that point because of injuries, the season likely is lost anyway, do teams really need a third QB?
Well, yes. Maybe.
The Cleveland Browns used three quarterbacks in the first three weeks of the season last year under Turner. They began the season with Brandon Weeden, and moved to Jason Campbell. By week 3 -- against the Vikings -- Brian Hoyer was the starter.
"Having three quarterbacks, if that's the way we end up going, it's extremely valuable to me," Turner said.
Mike Zimmer said after Tuesday's practice that he doesn't think the Vikings will have just two quarterbacks to start the season.
Turner said the he was "very disappointed" when fans booed Ponder at TCF Bank Stadium in the preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders "because I think he's done everything he can do and he's working his butt off. I think he's a guy that's going to be valuable to our team."
Perhaps that means Ponder will stick around. Or perhaps privately they hope he'll play well in Week 4 of the preseason and can flip him for a late-round draft choice to a backup-needy team.
One thing that certainly will influence the decision is need at other positions. The secondary could perhaps use an extra body. The Vikings might want to take an extra draft pick on the 53-man roster. Or Jerome Simpson's suspension might have them considering a sixth wide receiver like Rodney Smith.
The Vikings will pay Ponder his $1.8 million even if they cut him, unless he signs with another team. If that happens or if they trade him, it could save the team some money, according to ESPN's Ben Goessling, who wrote that: "Even if the Vikings cut Ponder at the end of the month, it would seem there's a good chance that he'll sign with another team, which would offset some or all of the Vikings' responsibility for Ponder's $1.76 million base salary through the language in his rookie contract."
Vikings fans, what do you think they should do? Take Ponder as an insurance option? Or free up a potentially valuable roster spot and some cash?
For more discussion about the Vikings quarterback situation, check out the latest episode of the Purple Podcast with Andrew Krammer: