Chris Kluwe says 'So long Minnesota' as Vikings cut vocal punter - KMSP-TV


Kluwe says 'So long Minnesota' as Vikings cut vocal punter

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Chris Kluwe was released by the Vikings on Monday, ending a tenure in Minnesota in which his football career was often marked by his contributions to the marriage equality campaign.

"So long Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!" said Kluwe on Twitter, an apparent reference to the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series by Douglas Adams.

The outspoken nine year-punter told FOX 9 News he saw the writing on the wall after the team drafted UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

"Kind of bummed that there are a lot of people I've gotten to know in Minnesota," Kluwe admitted. "Just sad that I won't be around here anymore."

Kluwe is one of the best punters in Vikings history, but his average punt ranked in the middle of the league and his number of punts inside the 20 ranked near the last. Even so, the New York Times dubbed him "the most interesting man in the NFL."

When asked whether his social activism may have contributed to the decision to give him the boot, Kluwe said he isn't sure if vocally supporting gay marriage had anything to do with being kicked to the curb.

"I don't know. That's not something I will ever know," Kluwe told FOX 9 News. "I'm not in those meetings with management. All I can do is go out and punt to the best of my ability and hope I'm able to find work somewhere else."

Observers believe the team cut Kluwe because he's 31 and was set to make almost $1.5 million next year, but some fans speculate that his actions off the field may have been part of the reason he got a pink slip.

Either way, Kluwe said he has no regrets -- and wherever he ends up, he plans to land on his feet.

"I think I can latch on to another team," Kluwe said. "I have four or five years left in me at the least. I can still play at a very high level and see what happens."

The Vikings made the move official Monday afternoon and in a release from the team, General Manager Rick Spielman thanked Kluwe for his time in a Vikings uniform.

"Chris has meant a great deal to the Vikings both on and off the field in his eight seasons here. He contributed to many victories and we wish Chris and his family the best and thank him for his contributions to the Vikings organization," said Spielman. "Out of respect to Chris, we decided to release him now and allow time for him to sign with another team."

Kluwe told FOX 9 News he'll be back in Minneapolis to be the grand marshal of the pride parade this year, and he's looking forward. He also has a book coming out next month.

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