The Vikings have agreed to extend the deadline for former Chris Kluwe to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the team, according to ESPN’s Ben Goessling.
Per the Minnesota statute of limitations, Kluwe thought he would have to file a May 6th, the one year anniversary of his termination of the team. However, the Vikings have agreed to extend the deadline so the results on an independent investigation can be released before Kluwe makes a decision.
The independent investigation is looking into claims Kluwe made in a Deadspin article where he alleged that current Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer made homophobic comments to Kluwe, and the team later released him due to his outspoken views on social issues.
The results of the independent investigation should be released within the next four weeks, according to Goessling.
“I don’t know what Mr. Kluwe’s plans are, but we’re going to continue to follow the facts wherever they lead,” Chris Madel, one of the two attorneys leading the independent investigation, said to Goessling.
If Kluwe does not hear what he wants to hear from the investigation, it is possible he will file a lawsuit against the team, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Kluwe told Tomasson the lawsuit could be worth more than $3o million dollars. Kluwe also said he would donate any money he was awarded in the lawsuit to LGBT charities, according to Tomasson.
Kluwe told Tomasson he still wants to play in the NFL, but since he published his Deadspin article no NFL teams have called him. Kluwe is still training in case a team does call though.
“I’m staying in shape” Kluwe said to Tomasson. “If a team calls, I’ll be ready to go. But that’s on them. I can’t make them pick me up.”
As Goessling points out, if Kluwe files a lawsuit saying he was cut due to his outspoken views, the interpretation of his on-field performance will be critical.
In 2012, Kluwe’s punting statistics were near his career averages and his net average was a career high. But his average was still only 17th best in the league, and he ranked 31st in the league in number of punts downed inside the 20 yard line.
Kluwe’s salary also complicates the issue. The Vikings saved approximately $1 million by cutting Kluwe and bringing in rookie Jeff Locke to take over punting duties.
Of course, that information did not stop Kluwe from making the allegations he did in his Deadspin article. And if he does not see the results he expects from the independent investigation, it may not stop him from filing a lawsuit against the Vikings either.