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Ponder trade not in Vikings' draft plans

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Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is not pondering a trade involving quarterback Christian Ponder leading up to the NFL Draft this week.

Spielman said Tuesday that there are no plans to trade the team's 2011 first-round pick -- at least during the draft.

The 26-year-old Ponder has not met expectations the past three years and the Vikings seemingly are in line to draft a potential replacement. Veteran Matt Cassel is the frontrunner to be the starting quarterback for the 2014 season.

"That would leave us with one quarterback," Spielman said of trading Ponder. "I would not do that. We're going to need two quarterbacks. Three."

Spielman also denied having any discussions with the St. Louis Rams about quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Vikings already announced that they were not picking up the fifth-year option on Ponder's rookie contract. The team declined an option that would have paid Ponder $9.686 million in 2015.

That kind of investment in an unproven quarterback did not make sense to the Vikings.

"Just wanted to make sure we kept all our options going forward, especially financially," Spielman said.

Spielman disclosed that the Vikings worked out nine to 10 quarterbacks before the draft. Minnesota picks No. 8 in the first round.

While the Vikings have not given up on Ponder, it is clear that they do not believe he is the long-term answer.

"Christian's still a very young quarterback," Spielman said. "He's shown flashes, but he just hasn't been as consistent as you want yet. You can't be afraid. If there's a guy there, regardless of position, that you have strong feelings for, whether it's at 8 or 40, or wherever it is, or 16, then you take him."

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