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Chris Kluwe believes being a human rights activist could get him cut

Chris KluweOver the past several years, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been one of the most outspoken players in sports when it come to advocating for gay rights. Last year, he wrote an enthusiastic letter to a politician who was against gay marriage. He has also discussed gay players in the NFL on prominent shows such as “The Colbert Report.”

Now, Kluwe is wondering if the attention he has brought to the issue of gay players in the NFL could lead to his release.

“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,” he reportedly wrote in a text message to Pro Football Talk.

The Vikings used a fifth-round pick on former UCLA punter Jeff Locke over the weekend, so it seems like Kluwe’s days with the team are numbered. He even alluded to the fact that he could be cut when he tweeted this picture after Locke was taken by Minnesota.

It should be noted that Kluwe is outspoken about more than just human rights. Last season, he wore this patch on his shirt before a game to make a point about punters being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Shortly thereafter, Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer said some of the distractions Kluwe brings to the team are getting old. In many ways, the writing was already on the wall. Minnesota’s decision to draft a punter confirms what we and Kluwe already suspected.

Chris Kluwe quotes ‘Dodgeball’ after Minnesota Vikings draft Jeff Locke

Chris Kluwe had a humorous response to the Minnesota Vikings seemingly replacing him by drafting punter Jeff Locke. Kluwe really quoted the movie “Dodgeball.”

Chris KluweThe Vikings used their fifth-round pick (No. 155 overall) on Locke, another former UCLA punter. Locke was the first punter selected in the draft, and you have to figure Minnesota intends to have him start right away.

The draft pick signals bad news for Kluwe, who has been with the Vikings since 2005. Kluwe was set to make $1.4 million this season, so the team may cut him. We also know that one of his coaches was growing tired of his outspoken ways.

Kluwe seemed to see the move coming. A tweet he sent on Thursday expressed uncertainty over his status with the team:

The interesting thing will be to see if another team picks him up. Kluwe’s outspoken ways may cost him some opportunities, but a team that needs a quality punter would likely be willing to overlook that.

Brett Favre helped convince Greg Jennings to sign with the Vikings

Greg-Jennings-Brett-Favre-PackersThe Green Bay Packers did not want to pay Greg Jennings the same amount of money some other teams on the open market were willing to spend, so the two-time Pro Bowler decided to stick it to them by signing a five-year, $45 million with the Minnesota Vikings. As Brett Favre, Darren Sharper and Ryan Longwell could tell you, jumping from the Packers to their NFC North rivals is nothing new. In fact, Jennings says Favre helped him decide that Minnesota was the best place to continue his career.

“Literally, as I got off the plane and (offensive coordinator Bill) Musgrave walked up to me, I’m on the phone with Brett,” Jennings told KFAN’s Paul Allen on Monday, via Scout.com. “I spoke with Brett two or three times throughout this process. He shot me straight. I knew if there was one person that would shoot straight and tell me exactly what I wanted to hear and things I possibly didn’t want to hear, it would be Brett. He did that for me.”

I wonder if Favre advised Jennings to first retire, then come back, then retire again and then join the Vikings. It seemed to work out nicely for Brett, who had one of the best years of his career in 2009 with Minnesota before actually retiring following the 2010 season.

While we’re not surprised that Favre would be convincing guys to leave Green Bay and join a rival, it must be weird for Packers fans. Usually when a player spends 17 seasons with a team he becomes a spokesman for that team upon retiring — even if he ended his career elsewhere. I doubt you’d see Joe Montana trying to convince players to go to the Kansas City Chiefs instead of the San Francisco 49ers. Perhaps this will push back that expected date of reconciliation a little bit more.

Percy Harvin: Trade a ‘huge relief,’ but I had ‘great relationship’ with Vikings

It would be silly of us to expect Percy Harvin to dog on the Minnesota Vikings organization after forcing his way out of town, but he may have gotten a bit carried away during his introductory press conference with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. Harvin, who almost looked as if he was fighting back tears at one point, spoke to the media about how blessed he felt to be in Seattle. Video of the entire session can be seen here.

During an interview with KJR in Seattle’s Dave “Softy” Mahler on Tuesday, Harvin again expressed how much of a privilege it is to be able to play for the Seahawks.

“It’s a huge, huge relief,” Harvin said, via Sports Radio Interviews. “I think I can finally get some sleep tonight. It definitely was a long process, had its ups and downs, but I landed at a dream spot for me. To play with these caliber guys, it all worked out, so I’m not complaining at all.”

If the endless evidence of unrest between Harvin and the Vikings wasn’t already enough to prove that their relationship had gone sour, that should seal the deal. However, he insisted in the next breath that there were no problems between him and his former team.

“First off, me and the Vikings organization, we have a great relationship, despite all the rumors that you hear,” Harvin said. “It really was media-blown, but like I said, we have a great relationship. And I’m thankful for the four years they gave me and I’m definitely happy to be here.”

If this report is true, it’s possible Harvin’s biggest relief comes from the fact that he no longer has to play with Christian Ponder. However, all indications are that it ran much deeper than that. Having said that, we’re not going to criticize him for not bashing his former team on his way out the door. Taking the high road is almost always the better option.

Photo credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings DL Kevin Williams: We were never told why Percy Harvin left last season

Percy HarvinThe volatile situation between Percy Harvin and the Minnesota Vikings finally came to a head on Monday, when the star receiver was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for draft picks. Last season, Harvin suffered an ankle injury during a Week 10 loss to Seattle (ironic, huh?). He was later placed on injured reserve in Week 14, but was there more to it than just a bum ankle?

On Monday, Minnesota defensive lineman Kevin Williams told the Star Tribune that the team was not given an explanation as to why Harvin was placed on injured reserve during the week leading up to a game against the Chicago Bears.

“I wouldn’t say it bothered me,” Williams explained. “Because I don’t know what all what went on. And I couldn’t say for sure what the relationship was like between him and the coaching staff and management. We just don’t know what that situation was about. I don’t know what his reason was for taking off. I just know that he was gone. And that’s the way it was left. Nobody every just came out and explained it to us, like, ‘Hey, he left for A, B, C and D.’

“So I don’t know what that relationship turned into. Was there something talked about? Was there a big problem? Or did he just leave? None of us really knew. I’m pretty sure it was addressed and we never got a clear answer on that. At all.”

If a player is injured to the point where he has to be placed on IR, it would not be a mystery to his teammates. The fact that Williams says the Vikings didn’t know the details of the situation is an indication that there was more to it than meets the eye. Head coach Leslie Frazier was vague when discussing Harvin’s injury last year, and players typically take four to six weeks to recover from severe ankle sprains.

Now that there are reports that Harvin had no confidence in his quarterback going forward, we’re starting to get a better idea of just how sour the relationship between the player and team had gotten. Perhaps it was more than just an ankle injury that closed the book on Percy’s 2012 season.

Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings reportedly trade Percy Harvin to the Seahawks

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has reportedly been traded to the Seattle Seahawks. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Seattle has agreed to send draft picks to Minnesota in exchange for Harvin, pending a physical exam.

It is widely believed that Harvin is looking for a massive contract extension that the Vikings either cannot afford or are not willing to pay, which means their only option was to trade him while he still had value instead of letting him walk after next season. The Seattle Seahawks have arguably the best defense in the NFL and exciting potential on offense with Russell Wilson running the show. Adding Harvin to an offense that already includes Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will give opposing defenses plenty to account for.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that the trade is also contingent upon a contract extension for Harvin, which should be completed within the next 48 hours. Schefter also said the deal is expected to include Seattle’s first round pick in the upcoming draft.

It’s safe to assume a number of teams did their due diligence on Harvin with it being a known fact that he wanted out of Minnesota. He should be a nice fit in Seattle, where Pete Carroll has turned an inexperienced team into a contender over the last few seasons. Richard Sherman was one of the biggest reasons for the Seahawks’ success last year, and he welcomed his new teammate when the news broke on Monday.

An already dangerous team just added one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in football.

Photo credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Percy Harvin reportedly told Vikings he wants trade

Percy HarvinPercy Harvin is dissatisfied with his contract situation and it is well known that he wants out of Minnesota if the Vikings do not plan to give him a big deal. The latest report says Harvin has told the Vikings he doesn’t want to play for them and that he wants to be traded.

Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman reported Saturday that Harvin will not attend the team’s offseason workouts next month. Hartman also says “good sources around the NFL” say that Harvin has “told the Vikings that he doesn’t want to play for them and wants to be traded.”

Harvin is under contract for the upcoming season, though he is only scheduled to make $2.755 million, per Rotoworld. He reportedly is seeking Calvin Johnson money with his next contract. Another recent report said Harvin is so fixated on his contract situation that he threatened to walk out on the team last year after his ex-college teammate Aaron Hernandez got a contract extension from the New England Patriots.

The bottom line is that Harvin seems to be disgruntled. He is worth much more money than he is signed for, but the Vikings don’t seem to have much incentive to pay him more than he is scheduled to earn. If they can get some value for him in a trade, that might be pleasing to all parties. However, keep in mind that it was reported last year that Harvin wanted to be traded, but he still played the season for the Vikings. The difference is he only had three years of service entering last season, whereas he has four now, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.

Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE