Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has signed a one-year contract for the league minimum with the Oakland Raiders and, according to a Fox Sports report, a formal announcement is expected Thursday.
Kluwe was released by the Vikings on May 6 and will replace Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler, who signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent. Kluwe, 31, averaged 45 yards on 72 punts last season in Minnesota and said he's excited to be playing in Oakland and hopes to end his career in California, according to the report:
"I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California. 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 has been an outspoken proponent of LGBT rights and some speculate his beliefs, often expressed publicly on Twitter, led the Vikings to release him. But Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said Kluwe's departure had everything to do with football and nothing to do with off-the-field matters.
Now in California, a state that recognizes a marriage only between a man and a woman, Kluwe said he has his eye on the measure and hopes it will be repealed in June, when a decision is expected. He said if it's not, it will be of concern for him and he won't be shy about taking action:
"I’m still going to be myself socially and continue to tweet and interact with my fans."