Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) passes against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Trade Machine: Which Backup Quarterback Goes First?

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Several prominent backup quarterbacks are in the thick of NFL trade rumors.  Which of them has the best chance to go?

Ryan Mallett – New England Patriots

The fact that he won’t play in the preseason finale is very interesting.  One would think Ryan Mallett has great interest in doing so in order to keep his job as the #2 guy away from upstart rookie Jimmy Garoppolo.  The fact the New England Patriots are holding him out means they want an extended look at their 2nd round pick, which either means Mallett is safe or he’s about to be dealt.

Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins

He has arguably played better than any backup quarterback in the preseason, which isn’t a surprise.  Kirk Cousins has considerable starting experience in relief of Washington Redskins starter Robert Griffin III over the past couple years.  In fact he’s played so well recently that rumors persist that he has an outside shot at the starting job.  That isn’t very likely, but the key for Cousins in any trade is interest from Washington to do so, and there has been no such indication.

Mark Sanchez – Philadelphia Eagles

When Chip Kelly said his team would listen to any offers regarding trades, it instantly opened the door for the possibility.  Mark Sanchez has value after all.  He’s a veteran with a history of playoff success and is only 27-years old.  The Philadelphia Eagles saw that when they signed him.  Thus far he’s had himself a very good preseason, averaging over a 100 QBR and completing over 70% of his passes.  Realistically, Sanchez likely won’t be dealt.  His plan is to learn under Kelly for a year and likely re-enter NFL free agency much more polished and ready to seek a new starting job.

Christian Ponder – Minnesota Vikings

Having Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater has made Christian Ponder a third wheel in the quarterback picture for the Minnesota Vikings.  The former 1st round pick seems close to an end with the team but insists he has not asked for a trade.  Perhaps he has resigned himself to his new position or, like Sanchez he’s taking advantage of an opportunity to learn from a respected offensive coach in Norv Turner.  Still, Minnesota may try to squeeze what value they have left from Ponder since a number of teams around the league still need depth help.

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Tags: Christian Ponder Kirk Cousins Mark Sanchez Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots NFL Philadelphia Eagles Ryan Mallett Washington Redskins

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