The Raiders added one piece to their special teams when they signed kick returner Josh Cribbs this week and it looks like they’ll be adding another piece on Thursday.
Punter Chris Kluwe, who was released by the Vikings earlier this month, told fellow NFL player and marriage equality activist Brendon Ayanbadejo that he has agreed to a contract with the Raiders. Ayanbadejo broke word of the signing on FOXSports.com and says that the Raiders are expected to officially announce their deal with Kluwe, who grew up in California, on Thursday.
“I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California,” Kluwe said. “Now, my family can actually come to games. Hopefully, I’ll be able to play for the next seven years and end my career in California.”
Kluwe’s release drew criticism from some who felt that the Vikings parted ways with the punter because of his willingness to speak his mind and wear his heart on his sleeve when it came to issues like same-sex marriage and Ray Guy’s absence from the Hall of Fame. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who signed the law allowing same-sex marriage in the state this week, was among that group but Kluwe said he didn’t know whether his outspoken ways were the reason why the Vikings drafted a punter to replace him. Kluwe told Ayanbadejo that he will “still be myself socially” as a member of the Raiders.
According to reports on Wednesday, the Raiders will have to clear some space on the roster to officially add both Cribbs and Kluwe to the roster. Once Kluwe gets there, he’ll share time at practice with 2012 undrafted free agent signing Marquette King. The Raiders liked King enough to keep him on injured reserve last year while Shane Lechler did the punting and he’s back on the roster this year.