Update: Raiders sign QB Christian Ponder


UPDATE: The Raiders announced Ponder has been signed to a contract.

The Raiders are hosting Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder Friday, according to Fox Sports and the NFL Network.

Ponder, a former first-round draft pick out of Florida State, played three seasons in Minnesota under offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who now holds that position with the Raiders. ESPN’s Adam Caplan is reporting Ponder is expected to sign a one-year contract.

The Raiders still have Matt Schaub and Matt McGloin on the roster, as well as starter Derek Carr. Schaub currently has a salary of $5.5 million. General manager Reggie McKenzie said at the NFL scouting combine he was reluctant to release Schaub in part because he could still have trade value.

Ponder started 35 games in Minnesota with a 14-21 record. His best season as in 2012, when he helped lead the Vikings to a wild card berth and a 10-6 record. Ponder’s job that season was to avoid turnovers and manage games, with Adrian Peterson rushing for 2,097 yards and winning the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award.

Ponder completed 62.1 percent of his passes that season for 2,935 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. For his career, Ponder is a 59.8 percent passer with 38 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.

— Tight end Jermaine Grisham, a former first-round draft pick with the Bengals and veteran of 67 starts, visited with the Raiders Wednesday and Thursday but left without a contract.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • GG

    new post

  • R8derdiehard

    Lol love it !!! Nice one

  • RAY NJ

    Two years in a row?

  • iRock

    He was accused of pushing a girl down stairs, so…
    Also, he isn’t knonw for being a church mouse. He doesn’t look like a fit within the “Reggie’s guy” mold.

  • RediaR (Captain Trade Down)

    I am much more fine getting pass rush 2nd. For WR I think we have to get Cooper, White, Parker, Strong or DGB just for the combination of potential and immediate impact. Later WRs might have that same combo, but it’s much more of a crap shoot imo.

    That is also why I am emphatically for a trade down. I don’t think there is enough of a difference between the top 5 WRs that I wouldn’t want another 2nd round pick to come our way.

  • RAY NJ

    Thought it was a lot more.

  • GG

    Main eater…you mean.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Coups on!

  • iRock

    Not sure… why going to an iHop at Honolulu when you can find one just at Oakland?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I’m OK as long as we’re using it, basically. We have to this year and next.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    14 tradebacks, 27 rookies could cost more. Oh hell! Than you bump into that 53 man roster thing again.

  • Eldiabs

    That’s fair but you know when you play the victim over and over again like Al did you eventually become a victim. Probably stems from not being a legitimate “owner”. Always feeling he had to prove how smart he was all the time.

  • Eldiabs

    Not as a one but he would be snapped up. He is a legit WR with bankable skills

  • Eldiabs

    A few million a year more may have clinched it. Now we have money on table…..Reggie failed

  • Eldiabs

    He did and never got more than a sec or two to throw the ball….Tough as nails and smart….RM friggin’ hung him on practice squad to he could keep an extra Punter (kluwe) on roster cuz RM thought somebody would trade for him…..HAHAHAH what an A$$… FU Reggie…Not saying we should’ve played him or even kept him but he was a top SEC QB who we drafted in 4th round then dropped him for a washed up second punter WTF…..Reggie learning? on the job again at our expense

  • Then you don’t remember the situation very clearly.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    Well, in all fairness, he was exciting! And he ranked everyone on the field athletically.

    If he could have actually played the position, he would have been something else.

    In my book, he was worth the sup draft pick (3rd I seem to recall) just to see if the light would go on.

    Heck Pete Carroll seems to be doing pretty well in Seattle, making good moves, and he thought Pryor was worth a shot too.

    You are of course correct though in that it just never translated to the needs of the position.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    Yes, not by having Carr do as he does, but because in the film room, QB meetings, prep time, on the practice field, and during the game, Ponder can be another set of eyes and another vector of teaching for what Musgrave is trying to accomplish with any one play.

    ponder was a recognized student athlete in college, graduating with a finance degree in 2.5 years with a 3.7 I believe, while playing top level college ball. He’s a smart guy who knows how to do the book-work and clearly works hard.

    My guess is Musgrave is bringing him in for just that reason. To tutor Carr while also preparing himself each week to back him up.

    There is something very powerful about being on the sidelines during a game and being able to talk over Def sets, blitz schemes, etc (i.e. what the d is trying to do to you) and having someone to discuss from a QB vantage, what the offense wants to do in retaliation. Especially with someone who already understands the offense.

    It’s all kinds of small things like, where to fit a ball in on a particular play/throw, or what body language of a safety to look for on a read. While to OC is concentrating on the big picture, Ponder can focus on the little details.

    The OC will be teaching all of that to Carr for the 1st time, so that kind of mentor-ship can be especially fruitful.

    Ponder is like having a study partner in class who knows all the answers, whether he can translate them into plays in a game or not.

    The idea that if you can’t do it at a high rate, you can’t coach it,… is plain incorrect. A LOT of failed players make the BEST coaches. Gruden was never even drafted just as one minor example, but the world is FULL of guys like him who understood what he was doing, but just could not play at a high enough level.

    Heck Carr’s brother is a decent example. He’s worked with Derrick and is a big reason he hit the ground running for us.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    lol! your call. just don’t put any green down on it though k?

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    I disagree. I was no good at QB but I’ve been helping QBs now and then for 30 years. David Carr has helped his brother a great deal. And Gruden was never even drafted but he’s an accomplished HC and OC.

    Was Sam Wych any good at QB? Hell of a QB coach though wasn’t he.

    Musgrave obviously thinks enough of his understanding to include him. I’ll trust that for now.

  • RaiderRo

    Sad but true. I’ve heard Mark was ridiculed by the players as a kid. Plus, a former high school classmate of his told me he was a total stoner and party animal. Just wants friends

  • johnnydragon

    If Williams if still they will take him if not I was saying White before the so called draft pros

  • johnnydragon

    I just hope Musgrave doesn’t put ponder ahead of Carr who’s upside is huge ! Hope they trade schaub for a 2nd round pick in this deep draft

  • johnnydragon

    They released him

  • Tvzz Smith

    ponder, lol