Not surprisingly, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wasn't watching the NFL draft when his team used its fifth-round pick to select UCLA punter Jeff Locke.
"I'm with my band [Tripping Icarus] at Flowers Studio in Uptown, recording our fourth album," Kluwe said. "This is the first I've heard of it."
"That's the nature of the NFL," he said. "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."
Kluwe, who's entering his ninth season (either with the Vikings or probaby not with the Vikings), had some uncharacteristic shanks in 2012. But, overall, his 45.0 gross average was the third-best of his career while his 39.9 net average was the highest of his career.
Naturally, many will and probably already have assumed the Vikings made this move in part because of Kluwe's outspoken nature, particularly a stance for of gay marriage rights that gained him national and international attention.
Kluwe says the team has never told him to tone things down. Asked if he thinks the Vikings made this move because he talks to much and draws too much attention to himself, Kluwe said, "I have no idea. They've never said anything to me about that. I just know there are things away from football that involves life as well."
Asked how he'd feel if the Vikings followed the same pattern they did with Ryan Longwell and released him quickly after the draft, Kluwe said, "I would be disappointed because I would prefer to stay in Minnesota. I like it here. I like the fans and it's a great state. But as players, we don't have much of a choice about it. You never know where you’re going to be from one year to the next. I can only do what I can do. If the Vikings end up cutting me, I’ll find a job somewhere else."
We'll have more from Kluwe in tomorrow's paper.
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