Thursday, May 16, 2013
Chris Kluwe makes sense in Oakland
By Bill Williamson
The Oakland Raiders may be replacing one of the best punters of all time with one of the most famous punters ever.
Chris Kluwe, who was recently cut by the Minnesota Vikings, told Fox Sports that he will be signing a one-year deal with the Raiders.
An Oakland pursuit of Kluwe made sense as the Raiders did not have a punter with any NFL experience on the roster after star Shane Lechler departed to Houston in free agency. Oakland has Marquette King, who spent last season on injured reserve. Although King showed potential and impressed with a booming leg last season, he is raw and inconsistent.
Oakland looked at veteran punters Jason Baker and Mat McBriar last week. Signing Kluwe is the best option, and he'll likely be the favorite to win the job because of his eight years of NFL experience. But if King is the better punter this summer, there could be competition for the starting job.
Kluwe has rare notoriety for a punter. He is a colorful character and he is outspoken, including his stance on gay rights.
Kluwe, a native Californian, already has some Raiders in him. He was fined last season for writing a tribute to legendary Oakland punter Ray Guy on his uniform.
So, in all aspects, this seems like a nice fit.
Meanwhile, the Josh Cribbs signing in Oakland is not official, although he and his agents have said the wide receiver is heading there. The Raiders must cut a player to make room for him on the 90-man roster. Another player will have to be cut to make room for Kluwe.
Also, the agent for safety Charles Woodson told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the Denver Broncos, the Raiders and a new team are all talking to his client. Woodson visited the Broncos and had a good visit there. ESPN’s Ed Werder is reporting the Giants are now interested.