Are the Vikings trying to send Chris Kluwe another message? It appears maybe they are. A day after Kluwe’s appearance on The Colbert Report – in sandals – the Vikings have evidently added a punter to the mix. T.J. Conley broke the news himself via Twitter. “I’m extremely exited [sic] and proud to say that I am now a member of the Minnesota Vikings!” he tweeted.
As of now there’s no official word from the team but this appears to be a futures contract deal. The Vikes evidently had Conley in for a try out last week. Conley was on the Jets earlier this year before being cut.
So does this mean Kluwe’s days as a Viking are numbered? Gosh I hope not. I think Kluwe is a breath of fresh air in a jock culture dominated by mindless cliche-spewing drones. But I guess the Vikes don’t like the controversy that seems to follow Kluwe around. The Vikes are a pretty buttoned-down corporate outfit. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see them dump Kluwe for someone more…manageable.
Remember also that Kluwe is due to have surgery on his meniscus. So maybe this is less about the Vikes firing a warning shot over Kluwe’s bow than them covering themselves in case he ends up on the shelf for awhile. Signing Conley to a futures deal now at least guarantees they’ll have a punter with NFL experience going into camp. Whether this means Conley will be competing with Kluwe or replacing Kluwe…that’s a drama that will have to play out later.
(Update: team confirms Conley’s signing to a reserve/futures contract)