With the departure of arguably the greatest punter in NFL history, Shane Lechler, the Oakland Raiders are in need of a dependable punter. Now that the Minnesota Vikings have released the charismatic Chris Kluwe, it makes sense for the Raiders to bring him into training camp.
The Raiders have always been at the forefront of social issues in the NFL by hiring the first minority head coach Tom Flores, the first African American head coach Art Shell, and having a carefree “just win baby” persona. Chris Kluwe’s gay rights activism will only add to the Raiders’ rich history of social justice. Kluwe is known as a renegade who is not afraid to express his thoughts in a profanity-laced way. Can you think of an active NFL player who more personifies the Raider Nation than Kluwe?
Not only is Kluwe’s personality a perfect fit for the Raiders, but his veteran leg is definitely needed. Kluwe would compete with undrafted free agents Marquette King and Bobby Cowan for the punter job this season. Although King has shown flashes of being a powerful punter, he needs to show more consistency.
With an unproven defense, it is vitally important that the Raiders’ punter consistently puts the defense in decent field position this season. The Raiders’ offense will take time to gel this year so expect the team to do a great deal of punting early in the season. Kluwe might not have the leg of King, but he has proven that he can punt consistently well and not put the defense in a bad situation.
Where else in the country would Kluwe have a chance to mingle with a band of renegades, misfits and activists that live in Oakland? It makes too much sense for the Raiders and Kluwe to join forces this year
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras