The Vikings won't talk about it, but the coming season should be make-or-break for quarterback Christian Ponder. He needs to be healthy and play well, or he probably won't be the Vikings' starting QB in 2014.

A lot of Ponder's status with the Vikings is contractual. As a first-round draft pick three years ago, the Vikings have the option at season's end to add a high-salary fifth year to his initial four-year contract worth $10.2 million. His base salary this year is $1.3 million.

If Ponder, 25, plays well, he'll get the money. If not, look for backup Matt Cassel or someone else to call signals in 2014, with Ponder playing out the final year of his contract.