Vikings Work Out Punter Brad Wing; Chris Kluwe Could Be History

Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (5) during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Vikings about to “Ryan Longwell” Chris Kluwe? Things could be moving in that direction. Intrepid ESPN journalist Kevin Seifert put the story together from a couple of tweets. Last week, apparently, the Vikings brought in LSU punter Brad Wing for a work out. According to Wing’s tweet, the workout went well. As Seifert pointed out, working out a punter is not normal. You wouldn’t do that unless you were actively thinking about drafting a punter. If you’re happy with your punter, you don’t bother.

Where does this leave Chris Kluwe? Well if the Vikes do draft Wing, obviously Kluwe is toast. It would be the same situation as last year when the Vikes took Blair Walsh in the 6th round, then turned around and cut Ryan Longwell. Cutting Kluwe would actually be easier than cutting Longwell was last year. Longwell was dumped despite signing an extension not long before, an odd turn of events to be sure. Kluwe on the other hand is already in the last year of his contract and therefore much more vulnerable. Remember that the Vikes have already signed one punter, T.J. Conley, to a reserve/futures deal.

Frankly, I think there’s a decent chance the Vikes dump Kluwe even if they don’t draft Wing. It’s clear some people in the organization are not thrilled with Kluwe’s status as a media darling. Mike Preifer last year ripped Kluwe after his highly-publicized Ray Guy decal stunt. Overall the Vikes are kind of a straight-laced corporate outfit and probably the front office is just instinctively averse to Kluwe’s controversial maverick nature. The suits don’t dig the rebel.

Drafting Wing, or some other punter, is probably plan A for the Vikes. Plan B would be using Conley. Plan C would be sticking with Kluwe for one more year and hoping his crusading doesn’t distract him from punting too much.

If this is the end for Kluwe? It was a fun ride. That’s not the kind of thing you often say in connection with a punter. Normally you don’t care about those guys at all. Kluwe somehow made being a punter cool. That’s an accomplishment.

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Topics: Minnesota Vikings

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.holly2 Mike Holly

    Kickers should not be the team’s distraction. They should go over in the corner, keep their mouth shut and just wait until they are needed.

    • RMB

      Right on Mike. Look, Kluwe was a good punter … back in 2005 – 2008. But last year he was, at best, a middle of the roader. He averaged about 45 ypp, his longest was 59 yards (in an era when punters are uncorking 70+ yard punts) and he was one of the lowest (18) for punts inside the 20.

      People think Teo would be a distraction? This guy shoots off his mouth every other week between “LGBT activism” and telling the HOF voters who they should induct. If you’re Ray Guy and want to be an “activist”, well, the front office might look the other way, but Ray Guy he ain’t. Add to that a $1M + savings in salary cap with a rookie. Get the kid out of La. Tech … boomed a 72 yarder and consistently drops em right in the coffin corner. Say goodbye Warcraft Boy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nick.mcnelis.94 Nick McNelis

    I like Kluwe a lot. He can become our best punter of all time, if he already isn’t considered that, if he plays out his contract with us. He is only 1,700 yards away from moving into first for franchise punt yards. But the constant media trash has really gotten old. It’s fine he has his opinions on gay marriage and all, but keep to football and let the politicians deal with that stuff. Please Kluwe just shut up. Chase after all that stuff after your football career.

    • http://twitter.com/rovibe71 Rob

      Punting for a lot of yards doesn’t mean a punter’s good. It most likely means the offense is bad.