Vikings release longtime punter Chris Kluwe
Chris Kluwe announced via his personal Twitter that the Vikings have released him.
Kluwe was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Seahawks in 2005, then released before the final roster cut. He was picked up the next day by the Minnesota Vikings. In 2007, Kluwe signed an $8.3-million contract extension through 2013, making him the in the top-10 for highest-paid punters. Kluwe was due $1.45 million for 2013.
The longtime punter was known for being outspoken about his opinions on political and cultural subjects, which could have affected to the decision to release him. Kluwe says that to him, it's more important to be outspoken than play football. From the NFL's report:
"I think the sacrifice would be worth it," Kluwe told Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune. "Now, I would hope that I would get the chance to play football again, because I think I can still play. But if it ends up being something that costs me that position, I think making people aware of an issue that is causing children to commit suicide is more important than kicking a leather ball."
Minnesota took punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round, who will replace Kluwe. The veteran punter's age, high salary, and Locke's budding talent all contributed to Kluwe's release.