EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn The longest-tenured Minnesota Viking, tight end Jim Kleinsasser, has decided to retire at the end of the season, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Kleinsasser, who would have become a free agent in the offseason, has played 13 years with the Vikings, starting 129 games and catching 192 passes for 1,688 yards.
Known more for his excellent blocking than receiving in recent years, the 34-year-old did have two big receiving seasons in 2002 and '03. He caught 37 passes for 393 yards and one touchdown in 2002, then set career highs in receptions (46), yards (401) and touchdowns (four) in 2003. Since those years, Kleinsasser, a second-round pick in the 1999 draft, has never caught more than 22 passes in a season but has been a big reason for the team's always-strong running game. This year, he has just one catch for 4 yards on a team that heads into Saturday's game against the Washington Redskins with a 2-12 record.
"I'm walking away with two legs that work ...