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Percy Harvin reportedly had no confidence in Christian Ponder

Percy Harvin has had a number of problems with the Minnesota Vikings over the past couple of seasons, many of which have remained private while others were publicized. Over the weekend, a report surfaced indicating that Harvin had told the Vikings he no longer wants to play with them. Just a few days later, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

All indications were that Harvin was heading for another holdout and was bound to become a headache. According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the final straw for the former Florida Gator and the team was that he had no confidence in quarterback Christian Ponder.

According to two sources, the straw that broke the Vikings’ back with Harvin is when he bemoaned the fact that quarterback Christian Ponder, a 2011 first-round pick, was not good enough. That came even though Ponder consistently fed Harvin the ball.

Harvin had 62 catches for 677 yards in eight-plus games last year before suffering a season-ending injury, so Ponder was giving him plenty of touches. That being said, Ponder’s play hit a rough patch in the middle of the season and he was largely inconsistent. No one would describe him as an elite quarterback, to say the least.

It’s also likely that Minnesota decided to deal Harvin because he is looking for a contract similar to the eight-year, $132 million deal Calvin Johnson signed with the Detroit Lions last season. Perhaps the Seahawks are willing to pay that kind of money to lock down a consistent difference-maker.

Now, it will be interesting to see if Harvin is happy in Seattle. This is a player who reportedly threatened to walk out on his team last year after hearing that a tight end from another team received a hefty contract extension. He also reportedly grabbed one of his Florida coaches by the neck during a disagreement in college, so a clear pattern of behavior has developed over the last several years. Time will tell if Pete Carroll can keep Percy happy.

Photo credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Christian Ponder: It’s ‘depressing’ watching other teams in Super Bowl

Christian PonderOnly two teams get to participate in the Super Bowl while the other 30 teams in the league sit at home. Christian Ponder’s Minnesota Vikings reached the playoffs with a 10-6 record, but that was no consolation for him on Sunday.

Ponder sent the following tweet as he prepared to watch the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens play in the big game:

Minnesota got an MVP performance from Adrian Peterson this season and still only went 10-6 and lost in the wild-card round (Ponder was injured and did not play in the playoff game). If Ponder wants to start competing deep in the postseason, he will need to show vast improvement. In my opinion, he is nowhere near the level of the quarterbacks who led their teams to the divisional round of the playoffs. But hey, if he’s watching the game with Samantha Steele, his day can’t be all that bad.

Christian Ponder’s throwing arm heavily discolored (Picture)

Christian Ponder was held out of the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff game on Saturday with an arm injury, and now we have a chance to see how it looks.

Shari L. Gross of the Minneapolis Star Tribune shared this photo of Ponder Monday:

As you can see, the inside of Ponder’s arm is discolored around the elbow and biceps. The team said he had bursitis in his throwing elbow. Coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder had trouble raising and moving his arm Saturday, and described the elbow as tight and swollen.

After seeing this photo, who would disagree with the Vikings’ decision to hold out Ponder? Even Chipper Jones and his disgustingly bruised leg thinks that was bad.

Christian Ponder and Samantha Steele have already gotten married

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele are married. Yes, already. According to the Leader-Telegram, Ponder and Steele were married on Monday afternoon in a courtroom in Wisconsin. St. Croix County Court Commissioner Stephen Dunlap did the honors.

Let’s track this thing. In mid-October, Ponder confirmed the rumors that were circulating about he and Steele dating. Before long, he was sarcastically thanking her for helping the Vikings win games. Earlier this month, Steele confirmed that the two were engaged. Roughly two weeks later, Ponder and Steele have already tied the knot.

Some people just prefer to get things done quickly and quietly. As expected, Ponder and Steele have heard all kinds of speculation about why they chose to get married so quickly and not have a big wedding. Steele sent a pretty funny tweet about it on Wednesday:

When you know what you want, you know what you want. If I got the chance to date Steele I’d probably try to seal the deal as quickly as possible, too.

H/T Deadspin

Christian Ponder and Samantha Steele are engaged

Minnesota Vikings fans who blame ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele for Christian Ponder’s dip in production this season are not going to be happy. According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Steele confirmed on Tuesday that she and Ponder are engaged.

Unless the two were dating for a long time and did a great job of keeping it a secret prior to Ponder confirming it a little over a month and ago, they moved rather quickly. If it seems like just yesterday that the Vikings quarterback was talking about how his girlfriend gives him something to brag about, that’s because it practically was.

Ponder and Steele reportedly met earlier this year on the set of ESPN’s College GameDay. After catching wind that fans were blaming his relationship with her for some of the Vikings’ misfortunes, Ponder sarcastically thanked her when Minnesota defeated the Lions. Considering he’s already given her a ring, it’s safe to say the former Florida State quarterback isn’t fazed by the opinions of others.

Christian Ponder thanks Samantha Steele after win over Lions

If Samantha Steele is one of the reasons the Minnesota Vikings lost two straight games prior to their win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, she must have had a hand in the victory as well. Since Christian Ponder admitted that he and Steele are dating, he has had to deal with questions about whether or not their relationship has been one of the reasons his play has slipped.

On Sunday, Ponder threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit and did not turn the ball over. He was sure to mention his lady after the 34-24 victory.

“I want to thank my girlfriend,” Ponder said according to the Star Tribune. “Because she obviously has such a big impact on how I play. Which allowed me to win. So thank you.”

While the questions about Steele affecting Ponder’s play weren’t a surprise, that doesn’t mean they are fair. Reporters always want to blame the new girlfriend if a player starts playing poorly, but people rarely credit a significant other for a good performance. For that reason, I can’t say I blame Ponder for cracking a joke instead of taking the high road.

H/T Game On!

Christian Ponder would understand if Vikings fans boo him when team returns home

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has not played well over the last several games. After a hot start to the season in which he led the Vikings to a 4-2 record and threw eight touchdowns and only four interceptions in six games, Ponder has struggled over the last three weeks. He was particularly bad in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Ponder was an abysmal 11-for-22 passing for 63 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Seattle. The Vikings lost their second straight game and third in their last four, and as a result Ponder said he would not be surprised to hear some boos when returning home to Minnesota.

“It’s happened already before,” he said according to ESPN 1500. “It comes with the territory. And I don’t blame them. Obviously, we’re not — I’m not putting a product out on the field that they want to watch.”

Defensive end Jared Allen agreed, calling the Vikings’ recent performance “embarrassing.” Even in their one win in the last four weeks — a 21-14 victory over the Cardinals two weeks ago — Ponder was 8-for-17 passing for 58 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was previously able to lead the Vikings to success by being efficient and limiting mistakes, but the second-year quarterback has gotten nothing going in the passing game as of late.

Those of you who like blaming relationships for athletes’ poor performances can certainly blame Ponder’s stunning new girlfriend for his recent struggles. However, it would be naive to think he is the only problem. Minnesota has become a one-dimensional team and is relying too heavily on Adrian Peterson. Ponder hasn’t helped, but play-calling and preparation have certainly played a part as well.