The writing was on the wall for Kluwe when the Vikings selected punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round of the NFL draft, and after the Vikings got a look at Locke during last weekend’s rookie minicamp, they made the decision on Monday to let Kluwe go.
“So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!” Kluwe wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.”
Playing a decidedly low-profile position, Kluwe may be the NFL’s highest-profile punter. He has most recently become known for his advocacy of gay rights, but he has always been active in social media and outspoken about his opinions on everything from the dictates of the league office to Pro Football Hall of Fame voting.
The Vikings have acknowledged that they weren’t always thrilled with having such an outspoken punter, but this decision seems to be more a matter of the team thinking a younger, cheaper player can do the job better than about anything controversial Kluwe has said or done. If Kluwe is one of the 32 best punters out there, he’ll catch on somewhere else.