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Andrew Luck Sweepstakes: Do Christian Ponder Move, Brandon Lloyd Trade Bring Vikings, Broncos To The Table?

The 2011-12 Andrew Luck sweepstakes are a fluid and dynamic battle between some of the worst teams in the NFL. Due to the nature of the team's involved and the ever-evolving nature of the NFL, favorites will come and go throughout the season. The Indianapolis Colts have seemed like the early favorite following the loss of Peyton Manning. However, while the Colts are losing tight games each week, the Miami Dolphins have emerged as arguably the worst team in the league.

Given the two favorites that have developed, other teams have to step up their game if they want a chance at Andrew Luck, or at least if they want a chance to get the pick they could deal away for a king's ransom. Given what the Oakland Raiders just paid for Carson Palmer, do you really think a team couldn't get three number one picks and other picks?

After the Colts and Dolphins proved ready to go all-in for the number one pick, the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos followed suit by moving their chips to the center of the table. The Vikings announced on Tuesday that they were benching Donovan McNabb and inserting rookie Christian Ponder into the starting lineup. They may be completely sold on Ponder as their long term answer, but they are also unlikely to win many games with Ponder at the helm. They are not necessarily going to add Andrew Luck with the top pick, but given the new rookie salary cap, getting that pick would be huge.

The Denver Broncos went all in on Monday as they have made the switch from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow and dealt away their best wide receiver, Brandon Lloyd. They still have some weapons, but that is just as big a move as the Vikings switching over to Christian Ponder.

As it currently stands, Indianapolis, Miami, Denver and Minnesota would appear to be jockeying for favorite status in the battle for the top pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. They may play awful football, but their off the field maneuverings make for a true Theatre of the Absurd.