Earlier today, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe disclosed on Twitter that the team released him, nine days after using a fifth-round pick on a new punter.
The Vikings have now made it official.
“Chris has meant a great deal to the Vikings both on and off the field in his eight seasons here,” G.M. Rick Spielman said in a team-issued release. “He contributed to many victories and we wish Chris and his family the best and thank him for his contributions to the Vikings organization. Out of respect to Chris, we decided to release him now and allow time for him to sign with another team.”
The Vikings treated Kluwe the same way they treated kicker Ryan Longwell last year, after using a sixth-round pick on kicker Blair Walsh. Both were cut the day after the rookie minicamp ended, which gave the Vikings a chance to make sure the rookies can get the job done.
Kluwe becomes an immediate free agent, and he can sign wherever he chooses. The California native needs a team that won’t be troubled by his non-football interests. Many coaches prefer their specialists to be anonymous, regardless of whether that was a direct or indirect factor in the decision made by the Vikings.
Kluwe will join Tuesday’s PFT Live to reflect on his time in Minnesota, to discuss the end of his time there, and to address his football future. And/or whatever else comes up.