Christian Ponder is still on the Minnesota Vikings' roster, working out at the team's voluntary minicamp this week in the same No. 7 jersey he has worn for the past three seasons. But in many ways, he is more on the periphery of the team's plans than he has been since the Vikings drafted him 12th overall in 2011.

The team gave Matt Cassel a new two-year deal in March, effectively slotting him above Ponder on the depth chart. The Vikings have spent the better part of the offseason evaluating the quarterbacks they might take in the draft next weekend. They have not, Ponder said, discussed the possibility of picking up his fifth-year option, which would be guaranteed for 2015 only in the case of injury but would pay him just over $9.6 million if he did get hurt.

"Honestly, I'm not thinking about it," Ponder said. "Plus, the option doesn't really mean much. They can cut me without anything after this year so it doesn't matter."

However marginalized Ponder appears to be at this point, he is coming to work with the hope he can pick up offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system and fare well enough to reclaim the starting job that seems slated for Cassel. He said he hoped the Vikings would come to the conclusion they have enough at quarterback not to take one in the first round, characterized the quarterback situation as a competition and thought learning from Turner would help him.