Vikings decline option on Ponder



In a video that wife Jill posted on Facebook, Hall of Fame Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, 54, undergoing cancer treatment, said, "Hello everyone. I'm just getting ready to go to my 19th treatment for radiation and I've already had two bouts of chemo. Keep those prayers coming, I sure need them. Without you I wouldn't be able to get through this. God bless you. Look forward to the Bills' draft on May 8th.'' Jill said he's "halfway done."

The Vikings did not pick up quarterback Christian Ponder's fifth-year option, meaning their 2011 first-round pick out of Florida State can become a free agent after the 2014 season.

The option would have activated a fifth year of his rookie deal. He would have been scheduled to make $9.686 million in 2015, but that salary only would have been guaranteed for injury.

"The option doesn't really mean much because they can cut me without anything after this year," Ponder, 26, said Wednesday, adding he wasn't dwelling on his contract status.

The Vikings had to exercise the option, which teams are now given after selecting a first-round pick, before Saturday. The team made the decision Friday.

The team-friendly options were negotiated into the collective bargaining agreement in 2011. This is the first year teams have had to make these decisions. Twenty-one of the 32 first-round picks from that year had their options exercised.

Even though 31-year-old Matt Cassel, signed last season, is expected to be the starter, offensive coordinator Norv Turner didn't close the door on Ponder's future. "Christian is still a very young player who has done a lot of really good things and been put in a tough situation," he said Thursday. "We're just going to work with both of them and get the best out of them we can."

Cowboys want draft: The draft could be moving from New York as early as next year, and the Cowboys would like to have the event in Arlington. ''As you can imagine, we like the idea," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "Anything that we can do at AT&T Stadium for our fans, give them a more up close and personal look at, I think would be a plus. I think it's something that the league is seriously taking a look at. They've actually looked at making it multilocational in terms of doing a day in New York and a day in another city, something like that. There's a lot of things being discussed.'' One benefit to finding additional host cities would be returning the draft to late April. This year's event was pushed into May for the first time due to a conflict at schedule-packed Radio City Music Hall. Commissioner Roger Goodell also noted last month the draft could balloon into a four-day event instead of three.

Jets: Michael Vick is the new No. 1. The quarterback initially chose No. 8, then announced on Twitter he was going with jersey No. 1. "After trying on the (No.) 8 I decided that it's not the right fit for me," he wrote. "I'll be going with the (No.) 1 officially. Thank You." Vick had worn the No. 7 through high school, college at Virginia Tech and throughout his NFL career with Atlanta and Philadelphia, but that number belongs to current quarterback Geno Smith.

Saints: As expected, the team didn't exercise its fifth-year option on Mark Ingram and he will be a free agent after this season. It would have cost $5.2 million to extend Ingram through the 2015 season, which is more than the going rate for free agent running backs. And Ingram is a part-time back who is expected to share the load with Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson this season.

Jim Kelly update

Vikings decline option on Ponder 05/03/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 3, 2014 10:53pm]

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