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Vikings throw Chris Kluwe under the bus while confirming his release

Vikings.com: Chris Kluwe is old and not that good. But we wish him the best.
Vikings.com: Chris Kluwe is old and not that good. But we wish him the best.

This afternoon, Vikings.com published a rather curious piece confirming the release of beloved punter Chris Kluwe.

SEE ALSO: Chris Kluwe says, "So long, Minnesota"

As you'd expect, it contains the usual "we wish Chris and his family the best and thank him for his contributions to the Vikings organization." But it also contains a couple paragraphs where the team seems to throw Kluwe under the bus for being (relatively) old and not performing up to par the past two seasons.

From the story, which was written by Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall:

While Kluwe did register a career best 39.7 net average in 2012, that was only good enough to rank 17th in the NFL. The Vikings also ranked just 31st in punts inside the 20 (18) and 20th in gross average (45.0). Kluwe's totals for punts inside the 20 and opponents fair catches decreased for the 2nd consecutive year. Also, the last time the Vikings ranked in the Top 10 in gross average, net average or punts inside the 20 was 2010 (In20: T-5th; net average: 9th). [sic]

Those factors combined with the fact that Kluwe will be 31 and will be entering his 9th season in 2013 led the Vikings to explore the idea of adding competition to the position, similar to what they did a year ago in adding Blair Walsh to the roster.

That's a rather defensive note to strike in a web post announcing the release of a respected veteran player, isn't it?

Then again, given the uniquely controversial nature of Kluwe's release, perhaps team officials felt more compelled than usual to be direct and explicit about the reasons they're moving on.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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