Vikings part ways with P Kluwe

The Minnesota Vikings officially placed punter Chris Kluwe on waivers Monday, ending the outspoken veteran's eight- year tenure with the team.

Kluwe averaged a solid 45.0 yards per punt with a 39.7 net for the Vikings this past season, but became expendable when Minnesota selected UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round of this year's draft.

"So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!" Kluwe wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn't have traded it for anything."

The 31-year-old, who averaged 44.4 yards per punt over his eight seasons, is also well-known off the field for his views on political and social issues, most notably taking a firm stance in support of gay marriage and gay rights.

"Chris has meant a great deal to the Vikings both on and off the field in his eight seasons here," Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement. "He contributed to many victories and we wish Chris and his family the best and thank him for his contributions to the Vikings organization. Out of respect to Chris, we decided to release him now and allow time for him to sign with another team."