Report: Kluwe to sign with Raiders

Report: Kluwe to sign with Raiders
May 16, 2013, 10:15 am
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Chris Kluwe averaged 44.4 yards per punt over his eight-year NFL career with the Vikings. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

What, you didn't expect the Raiders to just hand over the punting job to Marquette King, did you?

It did seem as though King, an undrafted rookie who was kept on Injured Reserve last year, had the gig all but sewn up after Shane Lechler left for Houston as a free agent. But former Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe has told FoxSports.com that he has signed with the Raiders.

"I'm excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California," Kluwe told former teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo for the website. "Now, my family can actually come to games."

Kluwe, 31, grew up in Southern California's Orange County and played at UCLA before signing initially with the Seattle Seahawks and then catching on with the Vikings in 2005. Last season, he averaged 45 yards per punt and is Minnesota's franchise leader with a 44.4 yards career average. The Vikings released him May 6.

King, meanwhile, impressed with a big leg in training camp last year but was inconsistent.

Of course, there's the formality of the Raiders announcing the move and, it would seem, clearing roster space to add not only Kluwe, but return specialist Josh Cribbs, who tweeted Wednesday he was coming to Oakland. The Raiders currently have a full offseason roster of 90 players.

[RELATED: Report: Raiders sign return man Josh Cribbs]

Besides his leg, Kluwe will bring his just-as-strong personality.

"I'm still going to be myself socially and continue to tweet and interact with my fans," Kluwe told FoxSports.com

His most recent tweet: Panem et circuses, people.

Kluwe, who reportedly graduated from UCLA with a double major in political science and history, has also been a strong and outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage and FoxSports wrote "his eye is also on Proposition 8 in California…and Kluwe is optimistic about the likely repeal of the measure. If the measure is not repealed, however, he says it will be an issue of concern that will need to be addressed."

He also stuck up for former Raiders punter Ray Guy last season.

Many see Guy as a classic Canton snub and when the Viking played Chicago last December, Kluwe covered up a Pro Football Hall of Fame patch on his jersey with a post-it note that read, "Vote Ray Guy." It was Kluwe's protest against the Hall's 50th anniversary because there are no pure punters enshrined and Guy is considered the best of all time.

Oakland, and a camp battle with King, awaits.

"Hopefully," Kluwe said, "I'll be able to play for the next seven years and end my career in California."