Kluwe will learn his status by Monday

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When Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman joined PFT Live last Tuesday, he said that he’d met with incumbent punter Chris Kluwe the prior day — and that they’ll meet again on Monday, after the team’s rookie minicamp.

The news suggested that the Vikings will cut Kluwe on Monday, barring an abysmal performance from Jeff Locke.  Kluwe has since acknowledged that the team told him that, by Monday, he’ll know whether he’s being released.

Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune believes that the move will be based at least in part on Kluwe’s willingness to speak out, even though the team has aggressively denied having any motivation unrelated to football.  The fact is that the Vikings, like any NFL team, have the right to opt for a punter who is younger, cheaper, and quieter.  Football teams want the focus to be on the team, not on any one individual.  For punters, who play one of the truly interchangeable positions in pro football, there’s a potential risk that comes from being too conspicuous.

Kluwe is smart enough to know it, and confident enough not to care.  If the Vikings don’t want him, he believes someone else will.

Here’s hoping he’s right.  While “only” a punter, Kluwe adds value to a football team, and to the community in which it’s based.  In Minnesota, the die has been cast via the use of a fifth-round pick on Locke.  Other teams haven’t made that investment, and other teams could use an upgrade at the position.

81 responses to “Kluwe will learn his status by Monday

  1. How long after he’s cut will it take for the first media report to come out suggesting that Kluwe’s gay rights agenda cost him his job?

  2. If nothing else, Chris will have more time to tweet and play video games….

  3. Meanwhile the First Amendment is being burned in every workplace in the country. While the less important 2nd Amendment is what is important to people. What a shame.

  4. Looks good on ya! See what happens when you speak up for something so obviously wrong like gay rights? Can you say karma?

  5. Chris Kluwe, keep doing what you’re doing. You have my support, Speak your mind!!!

  6. Kluwe is simply not that good. In fact, he gets worse when he opens his mouth.

    He might find another team but don’t look for a long list of teams looking for a distracting PUNTER with years of service that drive up his wage.

    Nobody to blame but himself. And he’s not that good any longer. Somehow that detail slips through the cracks.

  7. Still one of my favorite guests on 93x. I hope he calls in like birk did after he left the Vikings.

    Get ready for the Vikings to be accused of a hate crime by the mainstream press after this happens.

  8. Go look up Kluwe’s statline in 2012, then compare it to his scheduled compensation and THEN try and tell me that his release has to do with Kluwe’s social stances.
    I refuse to believe drafting Locke is anything more than a football decision. Spielman has made it clear when he cut Longwell and Winfield that he’s banking on youth.

  9. No, they’re not releasing him based off his political views and rants, but mostly on his punts downed inside the 20.

    He was one of the worst in the league at pinning teams in their own territory and was average at best with his hang time and average.

    His political views were only obnoxious because the media decided to focus on things outside of football and make a story about it every time.

    Plus, the Vikings are tight in cap space and Kluwe takes up too much. To think it’s because of his political stance is pathetic and poorly researched. What else is new with media journalists?

  10. His inside the 20 percentage was the worst of his career. Then again, his TB percentage was the best. Yards/punt and net average among the highest of his career. Talent doesn’t seem to be the problem.

    Leads me to think (and hope!) that it’s only a money issue where the public persona is not a factor.

  11. Everyone keeps saying how smart this guy is. Getting paid over a million dollars for kicking a football an he managed to screw it up. Doesn’t seem very smart to me. Maybe if he gets another chance he will be “smart” enough not to smartass his coaches on social media.

  12. When you’re “learning your status” almost 3 months from training camp..that’s usually not a good sign.

  13. See ya! Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

    Kluwe was a great punter for many years. Then the last year or two he decided to forget how to punt well and spend more time shooting pictures for gay people.

  14. The man is allowed to express his opinions and fight for the causes that he deems just. It’s called freedom of speech. His opinions are not proper grounds upon which to terminate his employment.

  15. Getting paid about 1.5 mil a year, last year of his contract, supposedly wont listen to his coach, not surprised, this has little to do with his stance on gay marriage. Also he was in the bottom third in many punting categories, replace with a guy that is willing not just boot it past his coverage or shank it.

  16. Adios Kluwe…I will miss heckling you at TCF Bank Stadium when you would no doubt open your pie hole about the field and weather conditions

  17. Not sure why you think Kluwe ‘adds value to the community’ because of his outspoken nature. Everybody has a right to express their opinion, but that doesn’t mean they deserve any special attention. And Kluwe has been looking for that attention for years. He may want to be the next Keith Olbermann, but he should be satisfied being a competent NFL punter.

  18. I like Kluwe, and I like his outspoken-ness. Heck, in tolerant Minnesota, MOST people like it. However, Kluwe has been average to below average the last couple of years, with a shank every other game.

    Spielman and Frazier will do everything in their power to make sure Ponder is a winner in 2013, and winning the field position battle is very important in that realm. Drafting the best punter in this class will help.

    And after drafting Blair Walsh last year, who’s to argue?

  19. Kluwe either was a valuable Punter or he wasn’t. If not then why did the Vikings not find a way to pawn him off on the Lions who were the team that was ready to invest the most in a new Punter the moment they Vikes drafted Locke?

  20. If he does get cut … I do wish him the best. He’ll land back on his feet in no time … I’m sure.

    Also …

    Mike Priefer, the Vikings Special Teams Coordinator will NOT tolerate any BS and or distractions from any of his players. He is rapidly gaining respect around the league as one of the better special team coordinators in this league, and what Mike said last year … was that he was tired of Kluwe’s antics.

  21. Kluwe has been a good punter and a good Viking for the past eight years. If Locke proves to be the better punter and Kluwe is cut, I wish him the best. SKOL!

  22. squared80 says: May 5, 2013 11:45 PM

    I like Kluwe, and I like his outspoken-ness. Heck, in tolerant Minnesota, MOST people like it.


    MN is very tolerant, and Chris Cook and his pimp hand will back me up on that one.

  23. The fact is that Kluwe has been middle of the road for the last couple of years with too many shanks. Field position is so important with a passing offense that lacks explosion plays. If Kluwe was netting 50 yards a punt I guarantee he wouldn’t be getting cut no matter how many tweets he posted…

  24. Team cuts its best cornerback, no problem. Team cuts outspoken punter and there are more articles about it lol

  25. As long as it’s really about punting and dollars…fine.
    I’d hate to think that one of the NFL’s few interesting interviews was punished for that…

  26. jrebar88 says:
    May 5, 2013 10:58 PM
    Meanwhile the First Amendment is being burned in every workplace in the country. While the less important 2nd Amendment is what is important to people. What a shame.


    The real shame is your minuscule understanding of either of the amendments you listed. Please do not reproduce or become a teacher. No need to pass your stupidity and ignorance onto anybody else.

  27. If Kluwe is cut, it will probably be strictly a football decision. A younger player who will work for less will likely be given the position. However, Kluwe’s stances on controversial issues like the “gay rights agenda” probably did not help him at all as it was a team distraction. He will land somewhere else and hopefully with less politics and more football playing time involved. Wish him the best.

  28. Anyone who has watched the Vikes last season know that Kluwe’s kicking was on a down hill slide. I saw this coming a mile away!
    And to use the NFL as a pulpit to get your points across!! get a life buddy.
    He’s paid to be a football player not fight for your own beliefs… at least wait til your careers over like Jim Brown did.

    There were a few games were we were pinned back near our own endzone and Kluwe muffed punts for 15-20 yds leaving the opponents a nice short field.

  29. Seems like kluwe knew his best days were behind him so he started building the case for a wrongful termination suit or tried to build a political career while still somewhat relevant in the public forum.

  30. If you played at a key, hard to fill position such as QB and produced at the top of the game, teams would put up with an occasional distraction. If you are a mid-range (or worse) punter then best to keep your head down and mouth shut. Once you are retired or out of the league then speak your mind all you want.

  31. Well good for him. He didn’t seem to like football all that much.

    And for those bringing up the 2nd amendment: THIS IS NOT A 2nd AMENDMENT ISSUE! The 2nd amendment and the Bill of Rights is a set of rules which restricts what the government is allowed to do. You have the right to speak your mind and your employer has the right to decide they would rather pay someone else to do your job.

    As someone who respects the Bill of Rights and has taken the time to understand the purpose behind it, it’s very annoying when people bring it up only when it suits their opinion. It’s even more annoying when they cite it incorrectly.

  32. jrebar88 …You wouldn’t have the 1st with out the 2nd…
    Time to clear your head, and sober up from the kool aid.

  33. Kluwe is a cool dude and is always going to be somebody that isn’t afraid to speak his mind, that’s what I like about him. The man is highly intelligent while good with words, his smack down of Nate Jackson will always be a highlight to me. He’s positioned himself well to do things out of football for somebody that’s only a punter, a position that gets no respect.

  34. When you are an average to below average punter at your position you will be cut. I don’t see how this has anything to do with his political agenda. In fact if he was the best at his position I doubt he would get cut.

  35. The unfortunate irony is Kluwe is doing more harm for the gay civil rights movement by playing the victim than he ever did by speaking up. It’s not that the man doesn’t have a right to his beliefs but this is one of the few athlete / average joe similarities: when you’re not good at your job, you really don’t want to do anything to draw attention to yourself.

  36. Kluwe is a good guy, and excellent in defending his “causes”, but on the other side of the coin, he is still a distraction – albiet one with great perspectives. Whether true or not, it makes you look like you’re not fully “into” your “day job”. The Vikings are far more concerned with his “day job” than any of his opinions…..just sayin’ ; }

  37. I respect the fact that he stood up for what he believed in and stuck his neck out for the freedom of speech.

    All of you who have opposing opinions and want to dismiss him by saying “just shut up and play football” are forgetting what an opportunity any famous actor, musician, or athlete has to speak their mind. They have a captive audience, and like it or not, people will listen. If you care enough about something to risk your liveihood saying it, then you’re d**m right you should. Like it or not, the media put them in a place where they have the opportunity to express that opinion and they have every right to.

  38. For the idiots that claim Klewe’s First Amendment rights will be violated if he were to be cut because of his views: Do some research. Idiots

  39. sowcrates says: May 5, 2013 11:17 PM

    His inside the 20 percentage was the worst of his career. Then again, his TB percentage was the best. Yards/punt and net average among the highest of his career. Talent doesn’t seem to be the problem.

    Leads me to think (and hope!) that it’s only a money issue where the public persona is not a factor.

    No, his production is the problem. Why are you only looking at his stats compared to past years? Look at his stats this year and compare it to other punters in the league. That will tell his value.

    He was below average in EVERY important statistical stat this year. Punt yards, Punt yard Avg, Net yards, Net yards avg, inside the 20, Fair Catches (which indicates his hang time was not good enough for the coverage units to force a FC).

    As others have said, this has nothing to do with his political stances. The fact that continually falls through the cracks is that Kluwe is simply a below average punter, and has been regressing for the past few years.

  40. Just like the Mike Wallace comments where he later “apologized”, freedom of speech is what protects you from the government not your employer. It drives me nuts, whether I agree with the speech or not, people talking about freedom of speech when their employer takes action based on something a person said that the employer doesn’t think is good for the employer. They are not going to jail, their employer is either during them or making them apologize. I’m not a Vikings fan so I have no clue as to his skill level. However, IF this has anything to do with Kluwe speaking out, somehow the Vikings will “pay”. If Kluwe lost his job speaking up for what he believes, he’s got more heart than most of us out here. I’ve read people making comments saying that’s what he gets and him being stupid, I say he’s standing for what he believes and no amount of bench press our forty time can measure that. How many of us go through life and just stay silent when we see someone being picked on or someone saying something we know is wrong? How many of us have been around friends or family and they made some racist comment and we just kept drinking our beer or eating out chips and said nothing. In that moment, when you chose to take the way road and say nothing, is when you should exercise your first amendment and speak up. Most of us don’t and we criticise Kluwe?

  41. zeeman911 says: May 5, 2013 11:01 PM

    Looks good on ya! See what happens when you speak up for something so obviously wrong like gay rights? Can you say karma?


    Looks like 80% of people think u r wrong

  42. PLEASE PEOPLE, he is gone because he is a huge distraction and not worth the headache….the Vikes represent Minnesota NOT California, Leslie has no times for his political games…he knows where to find his support, he just needs to go to them after he leaves the Vikings, he was a mediocre punter with views which put him outside mainstream Minnesota….thats why he is gone…could not keep his mouth shut and just punt…..see ya, don’t want to be ya…..

  43. Some of you guys crack me up with this, “his employer has no right to fire him for speaking his mind” thing. Employers absolutely DO have a right to fire you for speaking your mind if it affects their business.

    As an example: Let’s say I go to the Maryland State House for a rally for the legalization of Marijuana. I get on TV, and the reporter asks me where I work, and I say “ABC Widgets.” My employer absolutely has the right to fire me for putting their name into an issue they don’t want to deal with. It’s right in my employment contract. There was a dude who was on an airplane last year who was flying on a personal trip (not a business trip) and deficated in the aisle when he got drunk. When the story came out and the name of his employer came out, the company fired him.

    Look, I don’t think the Vikings (or my Ravens, who cut Brendan Ayanbadejo) are for or against gay rights. They simply don’t want to deal with the issue and have it become a distraction. A smart player would realize this. It seems to me in both cases (Kluwe and Ayanbadejo) that their “company” found someone who could do the same job at the same level for less money. That is absolutely their right in this now semi-free country.

  44. Look at his stats, the guy simply sucks!

    Granted, a lot of Vikings suck so you can make a case that they are picking on him for his gays rights agenda but it doesn’t make any sense given that a large percentage of the Viking’s fan base are collectively, “light in the loafers”

  45. Pretty sure mike Vanderjact didnt call himself an idiot kicker. Lol. And 5 mph gust will make Kluwe boot the ball straight sideways. Plus, just because you believe in something doesnt mean you can/should blab about it. Walk into your work and start shoving in everyones face that you believe in free speach, and gay marriage, and gun violence, and freedom of religion even if that means killing Americans. See how comfortable that makes everyone around you and how long you keep your job. Life isnt always fair. Have fun going broke and ruining your life trying to fight for your job to the supreme court….or… Just keep your mouth shut and live your life as you would.

  46. “If Tebow gets cut it’s because of his lack of talent. Don’t read into it! If Kluwe gets cut, hwoever, it’s obviously because he was an outspoken advocate of his belief system, and that is just plain wrong! I hope one of the other 31 teams keeps this guy employed, so I have an excuse to use his persona to push my agenda, and write 4 stories a day about an average punter.” – Florio

    I’m not a Tebow fan, per se. Just pointing out the obvious.

  47. So, I was thinking of going to a pro life rally. Wearing my company uniform, with it’s logo emblazoned all over it. Then then i was going to start screaming at people who disagree with me. swearing at them. belittling their views etc. All while i was plastered all over every major news channel. You know, enough to get my companies name in the news A L O T. Then if I got fired I would scream that my 1st amendment rights were violated. How stupid! Kluwe represents a brand, and if that brand is being unfairly dragged into the spotlight by his off the field behavior, then they have the right to cut him. He obviously doesn’t care about the team or the league rules. He showed that with his Ray Guy stunt.

  48. There are current openings in the Lingerie league. He should have known, if some who is won’t come out, due to lack of support, what will happen to one who isn’t, and trying to support it and buck the system. Good for the Vikes.

  49. I think Kluwe thought his views would be more accepted in MN because there was so much Viking fan rectal bleeding every time they played the Packers.

  50. Yeah, I am sure there will be a huge demand for a punter who ranked 20th in yards, 22nd in average yards, 17th in net yards, 31st in punts placed inside the 20 and he was paid $1.6 million last year.

    Punters do not have the ability to be outspoken, unless they are all world. Chris creates to much distractions for the team (wore a patch about Ray Guy on his uniform, etc).

    He probably has a future in talk radio – but his performance on the field doesn’t support his distractions off the field. And to be fair, even if he was quiet off of the field, he was certainly someone whose job was at risk based on last season’s performance.

  51. matthewcarlson1 says: May 5, 2013 11:30 PM

    He’s not even that good. I really doubt anybody but the Seahawks would bring him in.

    Hey I know you might be upset about Winfield and either happy or depressed about Harvin (understandably a controversial issue) but its not like the Hawks are taking anyone from Minnesota.

    Just the good ones.

  52. The only thing that’s for sure is that Kluwe is no Ray Guy. Obviously everyone has the freedom to say what they please BUT that doesn’t mean there are no consequences. If you walk into a biker bar and declare that bikers are bi****s you’re probably gonna leave with a fat lip and a black eye. If you continually put your employer in the middle of political issues that they want nothing to do with then your gonna lose your job. Just common sense.

    Let’s say you run a burger shop in a town with 50 people, 25 pro life & 25 pro choice. Then one of your employees says publicly that all pro choicers should die. Now half of your potential customers are going to non-political Mcdonalds instead of your burger shop even if your burgers are bigger, better and cheaper & you haven’t said or done anything. Then if you say “hey wait I’m pro choice” now you’ve lost the half of potential customers. It’s not that hard to understand business & politics in this sense doesn’t work. If you put your business in this position you’re going to fired even if your a rich football player.

  53. Lost in all of this is the fact people are forgetting the Vikings traded away a player such as Percy Harvin. So why wouldn’t they cut Kluwe if they can find a better player?

    The fact is Kluwe was cut because the Vikings found a Punter that they believe is better than Kluwe. This kind of thing happens all the time in the NFL.

    I personally don’t care what Kluwe’s beliefs are or what he promoted. He has every right to do that and I applaud him for it. But it doesn’t take away the fact he just isn’t that good at his craft. He often kicks line drives to players such as Devin Hester and Reggie Bush. He has difficulty pinning teams inside their 20 because he can’t kick diagonally that effectively. So if the Vikings can find a younger, less expensive player that has a good shot at being an upgrade that is part of the game.

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