As Christian Ponder discussed his offseason, his relationship with Percy Harvin and his future as the Vikings quarterback on Tuesday night, at the end of a two-day period where the receiver was traded and introduced in Seattle, it became clear to me just how firmly in Ponder’s corner the Vikings are right now.

On Feb. 22, coach Leslie Frazier said the Vikings would only be looking for a quarterback who could play behind Ponder, not compete for the starting job with the 25-year-old. That same day, Frazier said the Vikings have “everything we need” to compete for a Super Bowl title as long as Ponder keeps developing. And amid reports that Harvin wasn’t happy with Ponder, the Vikings traded their best receiver to one of the four teams in the NFC who advanced further into the playoffs than they did.

By most accounts, this is a team willing to tie its fortunes to Ponder, at least for the time being. That’s probably because there are more reputations and jobs to be helped or hurt by Ponder than just his own.

Spielman drafted the quarterback 12th overall in 2011. Frazier stood by Ponder when he struggled in the middle of last season, never wavering from his assertion that Ponder was the starter. Drafting and developing a quarterback is, more than any other move in football, an organizational decision, and both Spielman and Frazier have significant skin in the game of making sure Ponder succeeds.

So if Harvin was indeed displeased with Ponder, it would make sense that the Vikings would diffuse the situation by starting over at receiver, not quarterback. But the 2013 season — a pivotal one for Ponder — is setting up with an interesting twist.

The Vikings are woefully thin at receiver, and while they could sign a big-ticket free agent like Greg Jennings, it seems more likely they will refrain from spending big dollars at the position, instead using one or two of their high draft picks at the position and filling in the rest of the receiver group with affordable free agents. Frazier talked in February about wanting to upgrade the receiver position, and while the offseason is a long ways from over, the Vikings have a lot of work to do to get there.

That’s important, because a quarterback’s third season is a key juncture in how Spielman evaluates quarterbacks. He has seen development from Ponder, pointing out how the quarterback’s Year 2 numbers (a 62.1 completion percentage, 2,935 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions) compare favorably with where Eli Manning and Drew Brees were in their careers. But in Brees’ third year as a starter, his passer rating was 104.8. Philip Rivers’ passer rating jumped from 82.8 to 105.5 in his third season. Aaron Rodgers was the Super Bowl MVP in his third year as a starter. Recent quarterbacks have shown they can make major leaps in Year 3, and the Vikings will be expecting Ponder to do the same. And if they’re able to staff enough good receivers around him, they can make a cleaner determination of whether he can play in the NFL or not.