The Minnesota Vikings are prepared to have an open competition for the punter spot this offseason, at least that is what general manager Rick Spielman and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer told Chris Kluwe, the punter said on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities on Tuesday.
“They told me it’s for competition purposes, and we’ll see how it plays out,” Kluwe said on Tuesday morning, in an interview with 1500 ESPN’s “Judd & Dubay” show. “All I can do is just go out, punt to the best of my ability and trust in my body of work.”
Kluwe appears set to fight for his job, but if this is a situation where the Vikings already have a predetermined decision to go with UCLA punter Jeff Locke, the team’s fifth-round pick, Kluwe would rather fight for a roster spot somewhere else.
“If it’s truly a fair and open competition, then I would love to compete,” Kluwe said. “But if it’s something that (Locke is) the direction they’re going to go, then I would much rather be cut early and have a chance to find a job somewhere else.”
One thing that has been overlooked is that 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 field goal team.