UPDATE (11:14 am on Saturday): NFL Network is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in trading for quarterback Christian Ponder, who has just $775,000 left to be paid on a $2.25 million contract. The Raiders are expected to release Ponder if he can't be traded.
Matt McGloin stated his case to be the Raiders backup quarterback with a characteristically stellar preseason. It was too good; too consistent for head coach Jack Del Rio and his staff to ignore.
McGloin was promoted to the No. 2 spot, occupied by Christian Ponder throughout the offseason program and training camp. It made Ponder expendable, and prompted his release.
Ponder is expected to get cut when the Raiders formally announce their 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon, ESPN's Adam Caplan reported on Friday night. NFL Network reported that Ponder will be released or traded.
Ponder signed a one-year, $2.25-million contract this offseason, and will pocket $1.5 million in guaranteed money for his efforts.
The fifth-year veteran’s performance was lackluster in practice -– he wasn’t terribly accurate -– and adequate in preseason games. Ponder continued to run the second unit, even when McGloin wowed on the field.
Del Rio conceded Thursday night that the backup quarterback job was wide open, which was cemented by an excellent showing against the Seattle Seahawks.
Ponder reunited with coordinator Bill Musgrave in Oakland, after the pair worked together in Minnesota. Ponder was the Vikings’ first-round pick in 2011. He started two seasons and dropped down the depth chart after that. He was the No. 3 guy in Minnesota last season and was allowed to leave in free agency.
The Raiders will go with two quarterbacks to start the regular season, with Derek Carr as the primary signal caller and McGloin behind him.