MINNEAPOLIS - Chris Kluwe will be the first to tell you the odds that he will play for the Minnesota Vikings next year aren't good.
"Three percent, five percent, maybe," Kluwe said Monday afternoon at his home.
But why? Speculation has run rampant since the Vikings drafted punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round last weekend that Kluwe's outspoken nature on gay rights was a factor.
Kluwe says the Wilf family backed his activism from day one.
"The ownership has always been very supportive of me so they were very good about saying we appreciate what you have done and feel free to speak out," Kluwe said.
But his coach on special teams may not have felt the same. During the season Kluwe's coach, Mike Priefer said the distractions with Kluwe were getting old.
In a statement Rick Spielman, the Vikings General Manger, said the team's draft of a punter had nothing to do with Kluwe's social activism.
"This was just another normal personnel move. It had nothing to do with Chris Kluwe's off-field concerns. I have no issue if Chris Kluwe wants to express his opinions," Spielman said.
So what was it then?
Kluwe's contract had him making $1.4 million next season.
Jeff Locke, the draft pick, would make a third of that if he takes the position next year, so maybe it's just math.
But whatever it is, Kluwe isn't kidding himself.
"I think it's something that the team has decided that's where they are going to go in the future," Kluwe said of the team drafting Locke.
Kluwe is betting that the Vikings aren't betting on him, which bums him out, to say it bluntly.
"I'm going to miss Minnesota, I like the state, the people here, and I've made a lot of friends."
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