Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) and holder Chris Kluwe (5) watch the game-winning field goal during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Booting Chris Kluwe could come back to bite Minnesota Vikings

With the selection of UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chris Kluwe era as a member of the Minnesota Vikings could come to an end.

Whether you like or dislike Kluwe, he has done everything the team had asked of him—and did it well. His off-field views and activism does not—and should not—have any influence on him potentially being cut.

While you can claim a potential switch as being strictly football related, Kluwe’s drop in numbers from 2012 does not tell the whole story. Kluwe purposely altered his punts to have more hang time and less distance, at the request of the coaching staff. Previous to last season, Kluwe has had a very good career for the Vikings.

The lone argument that somewhat makes sense is that Kluwe is due $1.45 million this season and is set to become a free agent after the season. Locke would be under control for four years at a rookie salary, significantly lower than $1.45 million a season.

One thing that has been overlooked: Kluwe, along with Cullen Loeffler and Blair Walsh, combined to create one of the most successful field goal teams in the past decade. Walsh’s Pro Bowl season, at least in part, can be attributed to this three-man team.

It’s possible that Locke comes in and is just as successful holding for Walsh as Kluwe was, but if Walsh has a drop in numbers next season with a new holder, the team may be regretting the switch.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Blair Walsh Chris Kluwe Jeff Locke Minnesota Vikings

  • 3kolu

    How many times has Kluwe outkicked his coverage, just ask Devin Hester. He had a good year especially his ability to hold for Blair Walsh, but it seems as though he has his own agenda evidenced by the indifferent remarks offered by Special teams coach Mike Priefer. And , I agree, he needed to concentrate on team rather than social issues. 5th round draft pick Jeff Locke offers diversity and depth. Diversity because he is a left footed punter and the the ball comes off different. He has excellent placement, hang-time and distance. Teams will have to prepare differently for him as I believe Donnie Jones is the only other left footed punter in the NFL. Also, he led the nation in touchbacks on kickoffs and even attempted some long field goals so would also be an excellent backup placekicker.

  • Billy Schwandt

    With the other players and already having Walsh we will have one of the best special teams in the NFL. You do not take a 5th round pick as a punter to cut.

  • Anthony DuLac

    Nah, his penchant for shoving his crappy political opinions in everyone’s face grew old for the organization AND his on-field play had grown inconsistent. Time to move on. I hear they have openings in San Fran, Kluwe…might be a perfect match for you for several reasons! Enjoy. ;)