Raiders ink backups Ponder, Dockery

While one of the best receivers in the NFL was traded for virtually nothing Friday, the Oakland Raiders signed two reserve players.

Christian Ponder, formerly a first-round pick and starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, and special teamer James Dockery, coming to Oakland from Carolina, inked short term deals Friday.

Ponder was drafted in 2011 by Minnesota as the team hoped he could carry them to glory. It didn’t work out that way, and the team decided against exercising his fifth-year rookie option.

Ponder’s best season came under new Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave in 2012, when the 27 year old threw for 2,935 yards on 300 completions and 18 touchdowns.

The contract was reported to be a one-year deal, and it’s not believed the team wants Ponder to displace starting quarterback Derek Carr.

Oakland has veteran quarterback Matt Schaub under contract for one more season for just over $5 million, and release looms should he not garner a trade offer.

Oakland also has Matt McGloin under contract, and may generate some interest as a backup, or as a potential starter on a quarterback starved roster.

The Raiders seems to favor McGloin over Schaub, but both are expected to spend the 2015 regular season elsewhere.

Dockery, who posted a series of tweets about his emotional connection to the Raiders after being signed, has been a career special teams asset with Cleveland and Carolina.

Dockery will also compete for playing time as a cornerback, his listed position.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.