Christian Ponder to 49ers: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2015, file photo, Oakland Raiders quarterback Christian Ponder passes the ball in the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in Seattle. With Peyton Manning out until at least mid-December, the Denver Broncos have bolstered their depth at quarterback by signing Christian Ponder. The former Minnesota Vikings first-rounder will serve as the Broncos' third QB behind starter Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian.(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers added some depth behind the quarterback battle between Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert Tuesday, as they signed Christian Ponder.

The team announced the move after ESPN's Josina Anderson reported that the Niners inked the former Minnesota Vikings first-round draft pick to a one-year contract.

"I’ve been sitting at my house, doing yardwork and painting the house," Ponder said, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Then I got a call."

Ponder signed with the Oakland Raiders during the 2015 offseason, but he was released prior to the start of the regular season. The Denver Broncos signed Ponder as insurance late in the campaign before cutting him in December.

He previously spent the first four seasons of his career with the Vikes, going 14-21-1 in 36 career starts and throwing for 6,658 yards, 38 touchdowns and 36 interceptions while adding another seven scores on the ground.

The former Florida State standout never lived up to his billing as the No. 12 overall selection in the 2011 NFL draft, which led to Minnesota replacing him with Teddy Bridgewater.

While Ponder isn't expected to vie for a starting job with the 49ers initially, the 28-year-old veteran gives head coach Chip Kelly another option under center.

One of Kaepernick or Gabbert is likely to start with the other serving as the primary backup, but with rookie sixth-round pick Jeff Driskel as the only other signal-caller on the roster, Ponder provides some experience in case injuries should strike one of the team's top two quarterbacks.

   

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