The Oakland Raiders signed Chris Kluwe, released earlier this off-season by the Minnesota Vikings, to a one year contract that is worth the NFL minimum for veteran players on Friday.
The Raiders lost Shane Lechler (who punted for the team for 13 years) when he left via free agency to join the Houston Texans.
For Raider fans it was a sad day for a valuable veteran who was known as one of the best punters in the League. But, with Reggie McKenzie remaking the team, it was expected. So, adding Kluwe was needed to compete with Marquette King and gives King some stiff competition.
Kluwe averaged 45 yards per punt last season for the Minnesota Vikings who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2005. He gives the team the most experienced option with King and Bobby Cowan the only other punters on the roster.
King was signed to a 3 year deal last year when he went undrafted and basically placed on the Injured Reserve for the season. He is a converted WR from Fort Valley State and has an impressive leg for distance and hang time (5.6 seconds), but he also tends to have a lot of end over end kicks. That is not something especially appealing after being spoiled by Lechler over the years.
The Raiders also signed Cowan from Idaho when he went undrafted in this past NFL draft.
With 3 players competing for the punting job, Kluwe must like his chances since he has the most experience.
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