ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent QB Christian Ponder, the club announced Friday.
Ponder was originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round (12th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft and spent the last four seasons with the Vikings. Ponder was tutored by Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave in Minnesota from 2011-13, when Musgrave served in the same capacity for the Vikings. For his career, Ponder has played in 38 games with 36 starts, throwing for 6,658 yards on 632-of-1,057 passing (59.8 percent), 38 touchdowns, 36 interceptions and a 75.9 passer rating.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder had his best season in 2012 under Musgrave, as he started all 16 games and led Minnesota to a playoff berth. After finishing 3-13 in 2011, Ponder led the Vikings to a 10-6 record in 2012, the biggest single-season turnaround in franchise history. In 2012, Ponder completed 62.1 percent of his passes, completing 300-of-483 passes for 2,935 yards and 18 touchdowns for a passer rating of 81.2.
The Colleyville, Texas, native played in 35 games at Florida State, throwing for 6,872 yards on 596-of-965 (61.8 percent) passing, 49 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He left FSU ranked among the all-time school leaders in career completions, completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns. As a senior, Ponder was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was also named Florida State's offensive MVP as a sophomore in 2008.