After working out several veteran punters this off-season, the Raiders have finally added one - Chris Kluwe.
The longtime former Vikings punter is most known for his strong social stances off the field, in particular his stance in favor of gay marriage. And while Minnesota may not have liked the attention he received for his beliefs, the Raiders have no issue with it. They are interested in his skills on the field first and foremost.
The 8-year NFL punter has signed a one-year deal to compete with Marquette King and Bobby Cowan for the right to replace the departed All Pro Shane Lechler. Although, it seems very possible the team will cut one of their current punters to make room for Kluwe.
Kluwe spent his teenage years in Southern California and attended UCLA so this is a homecoming after spending the first eight seasons of his career in Minnesota.
"I'm excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California," said Kluwe. "Now, my family can actually come to games."
The 31-year-old Kluwe averaged 45.0 yards on 72 punts last season as a Viking. Kluwe is the all-time Vikings leader in average yards per punt (44.4) and second all-time in total punt yards (27,683) and total punts (623). Kluwe is arguably the greatest punter in franchise history.
Kluwe is a vocal activist for causes he believes in. One such cause is that of the lack of a punter in the Hall of Fame. He took up the cause last December in a game against the Chicago Bears. For that game, Kluwe covered the Pro Football Hall of Fame patch on his jersey with a post-it message that read "Vote Ray Guy," as a protest against the Hall's 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Kluwe is excited to be coming to the Raiders and returning to his home state. "Hopefully, I'll be able to play for the next seven years and end my career in California,"