Oct 9, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (4) against the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kluwe Was Told He Will Get Chance to Compete

Sep 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (5) looks to the video board in the fourth quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Metrodome. Vikings win 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It is not apparently a foregone conclusion that Chris Kluwe will soon be a former Viking. Even though the Vikings drafted a younger, cheaper option in Jeff Locke. Drafted him in the fifth round as a matter of fact.

Call me a chump for saying this but I assumed Chris Kluwe was already out the door. But Kluwe himself has been assured this is not the case. Speaking to Judd Zulgad and Jeff Dubay Tuesday morning, Kluwe said he has it from Rick Spielman and Mike Priefer that he will have a chance to keep his job. “They told me it’s for competition purposes and we’ll see how it plays out,” Kluwe said.

Normally you would assume that if a team drafts a punter in the fifth they mean to hand the punting job over to that guy and cut the older, more expensive punter who has occasionally been a distraction due to his public political stances and other stunts. But the Vikings are the exception. They are the one organization that would take a punter as high as the fifth and make that guy win the job over the other guy the special teams coach has already expressed consternation about in public.

But the Vikings wouldn’t be fibbing would they? Spielman wouldn’t look Kluwe in the eye and lie to him? Antoine Winfield, tell us about Rick Spielman’s player relations skills. Do you believe Spielman would deliberately jerk anyone around?

And Mike Priefer wouldn’t want Kluwe gone just because he disagrees with Kluwe’s politics. Would he?

Of course not. That would be highly unethical. Pure and simple, Locke was drafted to compete. Kluwe has a chance to keep the job. Spielman is not a liar or a manipulator. Mike Priefer has nothing personal against Kluwe.

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Tags: Minnesota Vikings Popular

  • Daniel Laxen

    Please let the Winfield thing go…Spielman has a job to do too. He allowed for Antoine to be there for the opening of free agency. They offered more money than Seattle and he made his decision…Now a guy has a chance to compete for a title in Seahag land…Kluwe knows the way the NFL looks at political views. Keep em’ to yourself…I like Toby Kieth’s music, but I could really care less what he or the Dixie Chicks think! Want to tell me what you think politically? Run for office. Then I’ll listen..Same goes for Kluwe. Do I side with him? I sure do! The fact remains that Kluwe has been with the Vikings since 05 and that’s a long run. After last year and the “Blair Walsh Project” you can argue till your blue in the face, but they made the right decision there and I’ll bet they do here too! SKOL!

  • Rob

    First, Winfield’s agent was asked at the Scouting Combine about restructuring Winfield’s contract. They said no, forcing the Vikings to decide between a 15 year veteran and part-time player in Winfield, or a reliable 4 year veteran with many productive years ahead of him in Loadholt. They made the only obvious choice they could. Winfield could have restructured and he’d still be in MN. Second, Kluwe is OVER RATED. He’s nowhere near the punter he was a few years ago. Second worst in the NFL in 2012 for punts downed inside the 20. His yards per punt average? Boosted by better special punt coverage team play. And shanks? He had more of those in 2012 than in any previous season, by a mile. He’s not the same punter, he was shaky in 2012, and he disrespects his coaches. Of course he’s gone, and he should be. Let him go back to Seattle and join the other former Vikings.

  • Jake

    Kluwe was pretty bad in 2012. I like Kluwe, I like that he speaks his mind even if I don’t always agree with him. I like that he used to be a solid punter and I like that he took his craft seriously because punting is an important role. But he was bad last year. He shanked several punts, had several more 25 and 30 yard punts. There were several stories that broke throughout the season about how his poor play might cost him his job DURING the season. He was bad last year. If he wins the job in camp and preseason so be it but he should not be walking into camp as the guaranteed starter, not after last season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Maulias Nicholas Myers

    Kluwe’s stats changed because they asked him to alter his style and instead of bomb it deep downfield they wanted him to put more hangtime on it for more effective coveage.

    • Jake

      I don’t think they asked him to shank a dozen punts out of bounds or to make 25 yard kicks. He was bad last year, he admitted that he was bad. Yes he may have changed his style to get more hang time but he had many, many bad kicks. I remember watching him make back to back kicks of less than 30 yards during one game and he wasn’t trying to place them inside the 20, they were just bad kicks.

      • Dustin Joyce

        Amen, I’m so glad to see fans realize this is all performance based. The media loves to say its because of his social outburst and locker room distractions, but he really is not a good punter! 2012 was horrible and any player at any position that performs that bad should be cut or set to compete.

        • Jake

          Well lets not get it confused. Before last season Kluwe was a top 5 punter. He may be again. But you’re right, based on last season he needs to have competition this year for the job.

  • PlanoVike

    Kluwe can’t kick outside the hash marks. Remember Bush and Hester torching him? Guess who’s in Detroit and Hester is back to full time return man this year. Don’t care what he says, it’s pure performance and I think a rookie at 1/3 the cost can equal his returnable, mid-field punts.