The Minnesota Vikings turned some heads last weekend when they selected UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Specialists are rare birds on draft boards -- especially for the Vikes, considering they already have a punter.
Returning starter Chris Kluwe has been told by the team that the move was made in the spirit of competition, but the outspoken punter fears that something a bit more nefarious is afoot.
“It's a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut,” Kluwe told ProFootballTalk.com Sunday via text message.
Kluwe is fearful his activism has led the Vikings to believe that he will become a distraction, something the team vehemently denies.
"They told me it's for competition purposes, and we'll see how it plays out," Kluwe said Tuesday morning 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis. "All I can do is just go out, punt to the best of my ability and trust in my body of work."
Minnesota's starter for the last three seasons, Kluwe said he was surprised the Vikings took a punter in the draft. However, he maintained he has no problem competing, given that it is a fair fight.
"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."