Vikings announce release of Kluwe

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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.

42 responses to “Vikings announce release of Kluwe

  1. Its ridiculous how much focus is on his off field endeavors and how they must have been the reason for him being cut. No one even acknowledging the fact that he was mediocre at best, and expensive.

  2. For the Vikings, the decision to draft Locke and release Kluwe was based on a number of factors:

    1) Kluwe is getting older, and showed signs last year that future production won’t be as good.

    2) Salary cap. Kluwe’s salary is $1.45 million. Locke will probably start at about a million less. That’s enough to sign (or help sign) a descent player.

    3) Kluwe is a distraction, and doesn’t respond to coaches. Ignoring your coaches wishes, trying to make the headlines every week as an NFL punter isn’t professional. It’s not about what views you have, its about being focused on football and understanding your role.

    4) Locke has more to offer. As a left-footed punter his punts are more difficult to field, he has better inside the 20 punting percentage, can kick too if need be, has better hang time.

    These are all good football reasons to make a change. Done.

  3. Well said Norseman. Reason#3 is why a team like New England would not tolerate this clown. If he doesn’t get another job in the NFL does anyone really care what Chris Kluwe has to say about gay athletes in the locker room?
    Not many,

    his outspoken attitude and from what I have seen/read like when he wore the HOF patch on his uniform despite what his coaches told him not to do is a large part of the reason that he is no longer employed.

    In most workplaces,that type behavior is not tolerated.

    Shut your mouth and do your job!

  4. Most fans prefer all players stick to what they are paid to do. If I want political analysis there are plenty of professional pundits that can opine, or my friends and neighbors can bore me to tears, I don’t need athletes or other celebrities to use their ‘fame’ in such a manner.

  5. chrismatthewsucks says:May 6, 2013 4:38 PM

    Seahawks only take Vikings Probowlers, Kluwe is garbage.. and we can all agree that everyone was sick of him playing hte victim card.

    Which year did Tarvaris Jackson make the Pro Bowl again?

    You also take our ex-coaches.

  6. “Kluwe is a distraction, and doesn’t respond to coaches. Ignoring your coaches wishes, trying to make the headlines every week as an NFL punter isn’t professional. It’s not about what views you have, its about being focused on football and understanding your role.”

    false. kluwe had been asked to kick higher than longer over the past 3 seasons, which he did, to allow more time to get defenders downfield. it isn’t his fault that special teams players allowed returners to more return yardage, which in turn affects his net yardage numbers.

    it all has to do with the devin hester problem. kluwe routinely kicked for more distance in previous years, but with less height. furthermore, due to hester and his success against vikings special teams coverage, he’d been instructed to even kick it out of bounds to prevent any chance of a return.

    maybe if you watched vikings games at all in the last few years, you’d know, instead of spouting bs.

  7. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 6, 2013 4:04 PM

    There will be a lot of scrutiny of Locke during training camp, like there was on Walsh last year, and I expect things to work out similarly.


    With 2 more losses to the Packers this season?

  8. This is the best news that I have heard all day. Like the special teams coordinator, I too was getting tired of his act. Especially when he shanks every third punt. Adios Kluwe, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  9. The reasons Norseman listed above are dead-on target. This is about 5-6 years late in happening, but it’s good to see.

    I first noticed Kluwe as being a problem back in 2008, when follwing the Vikings-Saints game that year, Childress publicly called out Kluwe in the post-game press conference for failing to punt the ball away from Reggie Bush and out-of-bounds. (Bush returned two punts for TDs in that game, and nearly returned a third).

    So what did Kluwe do? Instead of taking the chiding like a man, shutting his mouth and going back to work, he promptly and publicly started complaining about how difficult it was to punt out-of-bounds, and how his head coach was making too much out of the ordeal. He even got SI to get one of their football writers (Peter King I believe) to take up his case in print.

    I’m no fan of Brad Childress, but Kluwe’s behavior in response to that incident should have cost him his job back then.

  10. Ironically, if we were talking about the other John Locke, Kluwe would probably agree with just about everything he has said. My two personal favorites:

    “We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.”

    “To prejudge other men’s notion before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eye.”

    – (the other) John Locke

  11. I don’t get it, people rip punters and kickers for not being “football players.”

    Now they claim punters can be distracted by off field issues.

    He isn’t out getting arrested or starting brawls. He is just trying to help people out, or make people open their minds.

  12. Typical Viking fan puts their rookie punter into the Hall of Fame before Ray Guy or Tim Masthay.

  13. Now he has more time to spend at his other job, as self-appointed chief of the NFL’s gay police.

  14. I’ve read it ALL! first, negative folks screaming at those of us who are for equality, and telling us it’s the players that have to be around the gay players in the locker rooms and therefore they’re the ONLY ones who should be speaking about this – but when one of them on his off time from the field speaks his mind on it, you jump ALL over him! BIGGGGGG likelihood that if he was a gun nut and spouting everyone should be carrying guns, nearly every one of you detractors would be supporting his freedom of speech.


    God bless you, Chris. You are a Christ-like man, and deserve to be praised as a compassionate human being. Your wife is beautiful, and chose you for your heart, clearly!

  15. I don’t get it, people rip punters and kickers for not being “football players.”

    Now they claim punters can be distracted by off field issues.

    He isn’t out getting arrested or starting brawls. He is just trying to help people out, or make people open their minds.
    Let me spell it out for you. Kluwe is a punter in the NFL. NOT a pundant for Gay rights. Every time someone has something to say. His opinion was brought out. every time a questionable comment was made his opinion was brought out. I don’t care what he thinks about gays. He is paid to do a job on the football field. On game day I want to hear about the game. Social politics can wait. I am paying good money to forget all that crap on game day. He has a right to his opinion and he can open all the minds he wants. But he’s getting paid millions to play a game, not open minds to political views. I want to hear football views when I hear about my team. I don’t want his personal views or what he does in the bedroom or in his spare time, unless it has something to do with advancing our team. He wasn’t doing that. He was using his fame for a platform to push an agenda and to sell a up coming book.(That I have no interest in) The whole point of cutting him was because of he lack of production on the field. But politics in the media was making everything else a distraction away from his game.(My opinion.) Like Tebow, let other teams put up with the circus. By the way, the circus is brought by the media. And Kluwe doesn’t miss a interview.

  16. Lessons learned: If you are going to bring a political point forward, do it with the understanding you may have an opposing view.

    When you demonize that opposing view even when done respectfully and try to consolidate it by looking to politicians and organizations to back you up, then the best thing is to cease talking.

    How many of his team mates feared giving an opposing view for fear of being demonized. That’s creating a hateful work environment too. What did he do to foster a two way conversation with his team mates?

  17. Wow, what a true American hero he must be to speak up for gay rights at a time when it’s so unpopular in the country. I mean the outcry in the media when they openly agreed with and pushed his opinions, the accolades he’s received, the hero worship in places like ESPN, he’s truly a brave soul indeed to hazard all that. A lot of people would say they don’t want to hear a social agenda from a guy who kicks a ball for a living — but me this man is a true inspiration. Praise be Kluwe a man of such bravery we shouldn’t even be allowed to look at him.

  18. Kluwe is not going to Seattle. In fact, he already played for the Hawks years ago. Plus, the Seahawks have one of the best punters in the game in Jon Ryan.

  19. When your stats put you 20 something best in the league, maybe that might be a clue to keep your mouth shut?

    Kluwe will blame his release on his vocal stance on public issues, but the reality is he just isn’t that good of a punter. He might have been better had he worried more about his skills and less about being the political voice of the NFL on gay marriage.

    Anyway, good luck getting picked up by anyone else.

  20. Were Kluwe a better punter the Vikings wouldn’t care if he was *performing* gay marriages, let alone in favor of them.

    It was just a business move.

  21. Good riddance! Now krissy has all the time in the world to tweet his political agendas to people pathetic enough to care, and football fans can move on to real stories that include NFLers that actually matter.

  22. Bring back the hookers and the party barge, get rid if a guy who speaks out for human rights Why nit era quite the guy who has driving probe lens with cops, moons crowds and cusses out caterers? Got any woman beaters or dope smokers on the roster?

  23. Kluwe was a victim of poor coverage units and the stale air of the artificial cheap indoor arena conditions.

    Being a loud mouth with nothing to back up the talk, he was a perfect fit with the vikings.

    There is no future for him. NFL teams never pick up players cut by the vikings.

  24. @ jokendave

    I agree that business’ want employees to leave their feelings at the door. Then they do get sucked into needing to talk about it.

    I am just surprised at how many Viking fans are going to bash him for trying to help people, who choose to live a different lifestyle.

    He is on the field for of 60 seconds if he punts 10 times a game. I don’t see how that can be so upsetting to you.

  25. You have it all wrong. I am not upset at him, I don’t know him. I disagree with him. There’s a difference. Most aren’t bashing him, they are disagreeing. Putting spins where they don’t belong is part of PC BS. I don’t believe in PC.(Political Correctness)
    To me its a new system to reeducate the uninformed. Not for people with common sense that can think for themselves. Knowing they are not being offended. Its for whinny little wimps that need everything sugar coated for them. I am also a firm believer in if you don’t want the answer, don’t ask the question. So “upset”., Not hardly.

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