<
>

Minnesota signs punter Kluwe to 6-year extension

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings signed punter
Chris Kluwe to a six-year deal Thursday, extending his contract
through the 2013 season.

Kluwe leads the NFL with 18 punts inside the 20 this season and
has averaged 44.2 yards in the first six games. He would've been a
free agent after this season.

"I'm glad to have it done," Kluwe said. "This is a great
place to play. I enjoy being here. And I look forward to the rest
of this year and the next six years to come."

Kluwe was cut by Seattle as a rookie in 2005 and claimed off
waivers by the Vikings. He spent the first week and a half living
in a hotel and wondering if he would make the team, but the Vikings
ultimately settled on him over veteran Darren Bennett.

Kluwe was second in the NFC with a 44.1-yard average that year
and has shown a strong leg despite needing knee surgery after his
first season.

"We know the value of him to our football team," Vikings coach
Brad Childress said. "We're glad to have him for an extended
period of time."