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Vikings fixing to replace Chris Kluwe

Minnesota drafted punter Jeff Locke in 5th round Brad Biggs

Print This April 28, 2013, 09:57 AM EST

The Minnesota Vikings greased the skids for veteran punter Chris Kluwe when they drafted competition for him in the fifth round on Saturday.

Typically, when NFL teams invest a draft pick in a selection, it means the incumbent is headed out the door and the Vikings now have a young option in UCLA’s Jeff Locke.

But Kluwe isn’t giving in yet.

That's the nature of the NFL,” Kluwe told Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I have no idea what will happen. I've put my product out on the field. Statistically, I'm the best punter the Vikings have ever had. So we'll see what happens.”

It could not have come as a surprise as the Vikings were active doing work with punters prior to the draft. Kluwe’s net average of 39.9 yards last season was the best of his career and the team had one of the finest special teams units in the NFL.

Kluwe is an outspoken member of the locker room and is a strong advocate for gay marriage rights.

“They've never said anything to me about that,” Kluwe said. “I just know there are things away from football that involves life as well.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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