Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder will enter free agency following the 2014 season, as the team has declined the chance to pick up the 2011 first-round draft pick's option for a fifth year with the Vikings. The move hardly comes as a surprise, as the Vikings have recently signed veteran Matt Cassel and have reportedly be looking hard and heavy over next week's draft class for a potential future signal-caller.
In 9 games, Ponder threw for 1,648 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 2013.
So yeah, I don't think anyone's surprised with this. There were more people trying to create witty memes starring the Vikings QB and his more popular wife than there were trying to get him on their fantasy team. Depending on what Minnesota does with the 8th pick in next week's draft, it's very possible that Matt Cassel will enter the 2014 campaign as the favorite to be the team's quarterback. Should they draft a quarterback in the first round, it's possible that young man could be expected to start from the get-go.
Either way, what this means for the fantasy prospects of Vikings' players is this: Expect A LOT of RB Adrian Peterson . Expect Peterson to be more involved in the passing game, as an outlet when their QB doesn't want to throw the ball downfield. Don't expect WR Cordarrelle Patterson to completely live up to his potential this season. As the Toolbox's Brian Murphy wrote yesterday, Patterson's talent is about as good as it gets. The bad news is that Cassel isn't that good and a rookie will undoubtedly experiendce some growing pain. HOWEVER, if they use a rookie at QB, Patterson is someone I'd be targeting to trade for if he starts off slow. Rapport with a rookie QB will improve as the season goes on, and he could break out in the second half.