It's fitting on so many levels, isn't it?
We have truly reached the end of an era here at Daily Norseman. Throughout the existence of our humble site, few players have been talked about and debated over more than Christian Ponder. He has been a lightning rod for conversation since the very day he was drafted out of Florida State in 2011. Today his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings seems to have come to an end. Ponder appears to be heading to the Oakland Raiders:
#Raiders are expected to sign QB Christian Ponder to a one-year deal, per league source.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 13, 2015
Ultimately, the roller coaster four-year experiment didn't work out. We could go into detail, but haven't we pretty much said everything that needs to be said about Ponder by now?
Instead, let's explore the logic behind the move for Oakland. If you don't recall, here's a reminder of the Raiders' current offensive coordinator: good ol' Bill Musgrave! It's not like the pairing of Ponder and Musgrave were exactly halcyon days here in Minnesota, but the familiarity had to be a factor. It could also be a cost-efficient move for the Raiders. Ponder will still have to beat out Matt McGloin for the backup job behind Derek Carr. Even if he doesn't, Ponder's arrival almost certainly signifies the exit of Matt Schaub and his $5.5 million cap hit in Oakland. The details of Ponder's one-year deal haven't been released yet, but you can be sure that it will be significantly less than $5.5 million.
No matter how poorly you may have thought of Christian Ponder on the field, it's nearly impossible to claim that he was a bad guy off of it. Ponder was always candid and courteous with everyone he interacted with. He handled his demotions and detractors with the utmost respect and professionalism. He and his wife were the closest thing to a real live celebrity sports couple in Minnesota; it couldn't have been easy to be in that kind of fishbowl for the past four years. I can't say that I'll miss Ponder playing for my favorite team, but...well...you know what, I'm just going to refer to a tweet I sent out earlier today:
If Ponder goes to Oakland, I'm really going to miss one of my favorite annual traditions: pretending not to stare at Sam in Training Camp.— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) March 13, 2015
Best of luck to Christian in Oakland. You know, because any player that goes to Oakland usually needs a lot of luck.