The Minnesota Vikings selected punter Jeff Locke in the sixth round of the recent NFL Draft. The addition was expected to push incumbent Chris Kluwe, but it appears that the Vikings may hand the rookie the job sooner than later and part ways with the veteran, according to Mark Craig and Dan Wiederer of The Star-Tribune.
After selecting Locke, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman insisted that the move was made to bring in competition for Kluwe. Craig and Wiederer believe this competition could end come Monday, as the Vikings are expected to release Kluwe if Locke proves at all capable of handling the position.
Assuming Locke doesn’t suffer an injury this weekend or
experience a mental breakdown, he should have the punting job to himself very
soon. Kluwe will meet Monday with Spielman. And both sides have agreed that if
Locke is the preference — and the rookie sure seems to have the inside track —
there will be no point in dragging out the breakup.
Craig and Wiederer note that you have to only look to last offseason and how the Vikings handled the kicker position to find the writing on the wall for Kluwe. The punter has become a vocal advocate for same-sex marriage rights, and some reporters around the team believe this is playing at least some sort of role in his potential axing.
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