The end is coming for Chris Kluwe and he knew that nine days ago when the Minnesota Vikings drafted another punter in the fifth round.
Unless the Vikings deemed UCLA’s Jeff Locke a failure coming out of rookie minicamp over the weekend, Kluwe should be gone. For his sake, the sooner the better as it may take some time for him to find a new job.
“Most teams generally don’t draft a punter in the fifth round unless that’s who they’re going to go with,” Kluwe said, according to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “They said they would let me know Monday after the rookie minicamp.”
Originally, general manager Rick Spielman talked about a desire to create competition. But that is not likely to happen and the fact is the team desired an upgrade over Kluwe, who was inconsistent at times last season.
All along, Kluwe has been an outspoken member of the locker room. He’s gotten the most attention for his support of gay marriage rights, but he’s also stumped for Ray Guy in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and when a 2010 game was moved from the Metrodome to the University of Minnesota, he openly questioned the safety of the field the team was forced to use. The Vikings have been adamant their decision is football-based only.
“This is me,” Kluwe told Scoggins. “I pay attention to what goes on in the world, and I like to speak up when I see something. No single thing that I do defines me as a person. Just because I play football, that doesn’t define me as a person.”
We’ll see if Kluwe gets the word today.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune