The Vikings opted to use their fifth-round pick on UCLA punter Jeff Locke which has left Kluwe’s future status with the team in some doubt. Kluwe mentioned that he’s open to competing for the starting job with Locke, but Pelissero believes there’s at least a chance that Kluwe could be cut loose before training camp. It’s hard to imagine the Vikings releasing Locke after using a fifth-round selection on him, which means the odds are already against Kluwe.
Kluwe, 31, played a good portion of the 2012 season with torn cartilage in his left knee, which would later require surgery. Still, he posted a career-best net average and managed to down 13 punts inside the 20-yard line with only 2 touchbacks last season. He has a $1.45 million base salary for the 2013 season, so it also makes sense for Minnesota to move forward with Locke from a financial sense as well.