Chris Kluwe, former Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders punter wrote an article for Deadspin, called “I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot“. In the article, Kluwe contends he was cut due mainly to his outspoken views on same-sex marriage.
Kluwe can make that statement. He writes well. The article makes a convincing case for his contention that he was punting, from a statistical standpoint, as well as he ever had. But from the team’s view, he was a distraction. Fans were writing the team, complaining about his tweets regarding Pope Benedict XVI. In the article, Kluwe says:
I had a poor game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Vikings brought in several punters for a workout to potentially replace me. I do not believe this was motivated by my speaking out on same-sex equality, though I do not know for sure. During the special-teams meeting the following day, Mike Priefer berated me in an incredibly harsh tone the likes of which I’ve never heard a coach use about my abilities as a punter (and I have been berated before). The room went silent after he finished speaking, in a way that normally does not happen during meetings when someone is being called out. The Vikings kept me on as their punter.
Kluwe is determined to end the career of special-teams coach Mike Priefer, stating
If there’s one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it’s to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level … It’s inexcusable that someone would use his status as a teacher and a role model to proselytize on behalf of his own doctrine of intolerance, and I hope he never gets another opportunity to pass his example along to anyone else.
You can read the article, and you can look at the numbers. Make your own judgements, but BSP says a punter can get cut at any time due to poor performance. It’s the league. A punter with longevity can demand more in pay. Teams tend to pay less for punters and kickers, unless they are the top players at the position. Kluwe wasn’t a Pro Bowler, and the Vikings used a 5th rounder on a punter. I’m not sure if Kluwe is looking for a reason for getting cut other than he’s at a position where there’s a glut of NFL-capable players for cheap. One of the Deadspin posts states:
Chris Kluwe 2012 Salary: $1.63 million
Jeff Locke (the new punter) 2013 Salary: $405K