Vikings still haven't picked up Ponder's fifth-year option


The Vikings have yet to pick up quarterback Christian Ponder's fifth-year option, according to the Star Tribune.

The team has until May 3 to exercise the option. Ponder is part of the 2011 draft class, the first to go through the fifth-year player option cycle. It was established with the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement.

Ponder's 2015 salary would be determined by the average salary of the third through 25th highest paid quarterback in the NFL the previous year. Ponder was the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft. If he were drafted in the top ten, his price on his fifth-year option would be determined by the top ten highest paid quarterbacks the previous year.

Crunching the numbers, it’ll cost the Vikings around $10 million when looking at the quarterback salaries from Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (third) down to Cardinals backup quarterback Drew Stanton (25th). It isn’t fully guaranteed however unless Ponder is on the roster on the first day of the league year. However, it is guaranteed if Ponder gets injured.

General manager Rick Spielman declined to discuss the team's plans with Ponder when he was asked at the NFL Combine in February. If they don't pick up the option, the Vikings could elect to trade or cut him before the 2015 NFL calendar begins.

The Vikings re-signed quarterback Matt Cassel, who projects to be the starting quarterback unless the Vikings find a starter in the upcoming NFL Draft.

What will the Vikings do in the draft? NFL Network went "Inside the Vikings' War Room" to analyze options the Vikings might have through the first four rounds of the draft.

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