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Punting jobs are scarce, but Chris Kluwe can help several teams

Chris Kluwe AP

PFT’s All-Unemployed Team has a new punter.

Released by the Vikings on Monday, Chris Kluwe immediately became the best punter available in free agency.

Kluwe has several factors working in his favor as NFL teams weigh whether to give him a look. For starters, he posted a solid net average of 39.7 yards a season ago. Also, Kluwe can hold on field goals and extra points. Moreover, he’s only 31, which means he could conceivably be a multi-season solution for another club.

All of those are reasons that Kluwe could appeal to teams looking for punter help.

Which brings us to the next topic: who needs a lift at the position?

Two obvious candidates are Cleveland and Oakland, neither of which has a punter who has appeared in a regular-season game. The Browns have veteran Spencer Lanning and undrafted rookie Jake Schum, while the Raiders have the talented-but-inconsistent Marquette King and rookie free agent Bobby Cowan. Kluwe isn’t a perfect fit with either club, given that both seem ready to go young at punter, but he would give either team a proven veteran at the position.

Pittsburgh could be another club in the market for a punter at some point. The Steelers will have Drew Butler and Brian Moorman compete for the job in training camp, but Kluwe had a better net average than both a season ago. On paper, Kluwe could also be an option for the Jets (current punter: Robert Malone) and Panthers (Brad Nortman) should either team look for competition for the incumbent.

In short, Kluwe’s skill and experience likely puts him at or near the top of the list of punters teams will consider should they need assistance.

However, he’s not in an enviable position.

First, the majority of clubs are set at punter. Second, his minimum salary as a ninth-year player is $840,000. To teams wanting to go younger and cheaper at the position, Kluwe won’t have as much appeal. Third, there are more skilled punters than jobs, and the competition for positions will only get worse during the summer as teams start to pare down their rosters. Teams like New England (Zoltan Mesko, Ryan Allen), Pittsburgh (Butler, Moorman), Philadelphia (Donnie Jones, Brad Wing) and Tampa Bay (Michael Koenen, Chas Henry) may have multiple punters capable of kicking in the league.

Then there’s the matter of Kluwe’s outspokenness. PFT’s Mike Florio put it well earlier Monday when he said that Kluwe “needs a team that won’t be troubled by his non-football interests.”

Chris Kluwe has an uncommon willingness to speak his mind about a variety of issues. I don’t know if that will be a problem for him with teams around the league; I would hope not.

However, he does have a common problem facing him now: actively looking for a job is no guarantee of one in a fiercely competitive field.

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28 Responses to “Punting jobs are scarce, but Chris Kluwe can help several teams”
  1. heymister24 says: May 7, 2013 8:24 AM

    Would you sign him up for your business? Your office? Your team?

  2. steelbydesign says: May 7, 2013 8:25 AM

    I read a really terrible article about Kluwe’s political views being the reason he was cut, and the reason he’ll be black balled by teams.

    That article failed to mention (as does this one) that Kluwe was 17th in net punting average last season, and 31st in punts downed inside the 20.

    He’s probably the best punter on the market, but let’s not act like he’s a pro bowler.

  3. iejdaniel says: May 7, 2013 8:30 AM

    “For starters, he posted a solid net average of 39.7 yards a season ago.”

    Solid? Kluwe may have posted his career best net average per punt, but at 18th best in the NFL, it was below the mean. How is that considered “solid”? Punts downed inside the 20? Kluwe finished 31st in the league. “Solid”? The Vikings replaced him with a younger, most likely better, and CHEAPER alternative, netting a reduction of $1M in salary for that position. Period.

    Please bleat out your conspiracy theories elsewhere.

  4. jtchernak says: May 7, 2013 8:32 AM

    He doesn’t deserve a job. He is an attention junkie

  5. Chris says: May 7, 2013 8:33 AM

    How does one factor in the “dome effect”? I’m guessing a double amputee could punt half way decent when playing at least 11 games (12 if you count the Houston game, not sure if the roof was closed…) like the Vikings did last year. But yeah you’re right he’ll be great. Look out Buffalo…

  6. reed20fence says: May 7, 2013 8:35 AM

    The Ravens openly stated that they’re having trouble finding someone to come in and compete with Koch.

    Ofcourse they also said theyd prefer for that someone to also compete with Tucker and be a lefty, so…

  7. Logicalvoice says: May 7, 2013 8:38 AM

    Washington… They could use a punter and he’ll be busy with RG3 unable to play this year. Lots of 3 and outs coming up for the deadskins!!!

  8. rickastleydancemoves says: May 7, 2013 8:53 AM

    I’m starting to believe Chris Kluwe has some incriminating photos against Florio, because why else does this website talk about an irrelevant ass punter with the frequency it does?

  9. hack0059 says: May 7, 2013 9:04 AM

    I agree he isn’t a probowl punter he is above average. His outdoor net average is actually higher than indoor. He is also a two step punter instead of three, which means he is pretty much unblockable. he would definitely be an upgrade for many teams.

    Now let’s move on from all the articles about punters please.

  10. ppdoc13 says: May 7, 2013 9:10 AM

    Freedom of political speech works both ways. The people listening have the right to decide they don’t want to hear that kind of stuff from their players.

  11. Carl Gerbschmidt says: May 7, 2013 9:20 AM

    Hope they know what they’re doing, Punter is a critical position in the vieks offense…

  12. abninf says: May 7, 2013 9:30 AM

    Maybe the league could hire him to be some kind of gay liaison between the NFL and players who want to come out. That seems to be his main interest anyways.

  13. joetoronto says: May 7, 2013 9:30 AM

    I can’t see any team touching him, he’s simply not worth the trouble.

  14. squared80 says: May 7, 2013 9:41 AM

    He can go back to the team that drafted him and then cut him: Vikings West (Seattle).

  15. raiderufan says: May 7, 2013 9:55 AM

    Barring a massive breakdown in camp Marquette King will be the Raiders punter this year.

    Watch a video or two….inconsistent? Yes. Potential to be a weapon? Absolutely.

  16. replacementwriter says: May 7, 2013 10:03 AM

    Kluwe is an average punter at best and he is obnoxious and intolerant of any views besides his own. Don’t agree with kluwe and he won’t hesitate to belittle you and unleash a string of petty insults. He likes nerdy things so he must have a gifted intellect (sarcasm) and the way he talks down to everyone we must look up to him.

    He already declared the unimportance of kicking a leather ball around which should be a punters priority but he’s trying to save the children instead after all, gay kids are killing themselves because same sex couples can only have civil unions and not marriages.

    Maybe goodell can get him a job as locker room commisioner or shower safety monitor since he has been lobbying for such controls.

  17. cuda1234 says: May 7, 2013 10:03 AM

    Why is there another story on this mediocre, unemployed punter? He must be the Tim Tebow of punting because there are “stories” about him all day every day. Sheesh.

  18. modhairken says: May 7, 2013 10:12 AM

    CNN should revive Crossfire and have Kluwe and Tebow.

  19. thebigwhit says: May 7, 2013 10:34 AM

    What does it say about the state of our society when people like Kluwe and Jason Collins are “heros” and are said to deserve a job because of their views and a person like Tim Tebow is made out to be a clown and is said to have no shot because of his views and the attention he brings.

    I find it disheartening that Christianity is some how a sin and being or supported gays is righteous. Something is wrong here.

  20. dg0122 says: May 7, 2013 11:04 AM

    At least we know where to find our daily update on unemployed mediocre punters

  21. ricardocabeza says: May 7, 2013 11:08 AM

    Mandatory dress code for NFL owners meetings: 32 White robes, white sheets for head, two eye holes. One red matching red robe and sheet for the good ol’ Rodge

  22. dalcow4 says: May 7, 2013 12:05 PM

    No surprise you won’t be doing to Kluwe what you did to Tebow– One story for each team which didn’t claim or sign him, complete with mocking glee that he’s not signed.

    So– no “Vikings cut Kluwe” (replaced with “Kluwe says goodbye”) and of course no “Packers pass on Kluwe” no “Dolphins don’t want Kluwe” no “Another team which doesn’t want Kluwe”.

    No, instead for Kluwe you will make him a fake martyr for supposed “human rights”.

    Then of course he will get a job because he’s not terrible– and then you will laud that team as “visionary” and “willing to take a risk for human rights” lol

  23. farmmbig says: May 7, 2013 12:14 PM

    The biggest issue that Kluwe needs to overcome is that most of the teams looking for punters play outside and in cold weather— I challenge this site to run Kluwe’s numbers in those games played outside in adverse weather.. How do they add up?

    They are not very good. And with the Vikings moving outside for one season while construction of their new stadium occurs (2014), maybe THEN all thise Kluwe disciples would understand why the Vikings cut ties with the guy.

  24. rltruper says: May 7, 2013 1:14 PM

    Great post dalcow4.
    Kluwe is PFT’s fav player and obviously Tebow their least fav.
    I just want them to report pro football on profootballtalk and leave the social issue commentary to social issue websites.

  25. 7ransponder says: May 7, 2013 1:33 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    May 7, 2013 9:20 AM
    Hope they know what they’re doing, Punter is a critical position in the vieks offense…
    —————————-
    Oh look, Carl’s homering again. Let’s point out his flaws since it’s so fun:

    2012 Punts by Team:
    MIN – 72
    GB – 70

    Wow, yeah, you totally got us there man – we punt ALL the time, SO much more than the Pack.

  26. shappy7 says: May 7, 2013 3:02 PM

    in what way, shape or form can he help anyone???

  27. brewdogg says: May 7, 2013 3:09 PM

    7ransponder says: May 7, 2013 1:33 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    May 7, 2013 9:20 AM
    Hope they know what they’re doing, Punter is a critical position in the vieks offense…
    —————————-
    Oh look, Carl’s homering again. Let’s point out his flaws since it’s so fun:

    2012 Punts by Team:
    MIN – 72
    GB – 70

    Wow, yeah, you totally got us there man – we punt ALL the time, SO much more than the Pack.
    ———————————-

    Amusingly enough, 44.9% of Packer drives ended with punts, and only 44.4% of Vikings drives ended with punts. I think that qualifies as a whoops….

  28. jollyjoker2 says: May 7, 2013 10:49 PM

    Now chris can know what’s it like to take up the as s . I mean ….geeze buddy – was that hard to shut your pie hole and take your check for 6-7 months a year making a million bucks. No, you have to open your fly trap and go on a rant about something no one gives two squirts of goat p about and tick off your employer cause they are running a business and really dont want to deal with mouth.. .Now want sympathy or something…Can’t wait for obama to give you a call.

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