Chris Kluwe (Hannah Foslien/Getty)
Chris Kluwe continues to wait for a charity payment from Donovan McNabb three weeks after the veteran quarterback’s release. The deal was part of the agreement for Kluwe to give up his number 5 jersey to McNabb. Plus, Leslie Frazier talked about the toll the season has taken on him and coordinators discussed several different players.
Perhaps no teammate was more affected by Donovan McNabb’s quick stint in Minnesota than punter Chris Kluwe.
Kluwe famously agreed to give up his number 5 jersey to McNabb and made up a contract to spell out the terms of the late July agreement: "I, Chris Kluwe, hereby relinquish #5 to Donovan McNabb in exchange for the following:
5 mentions of my band Tripping Icarus in non-consecutive press conferences
$5,000 donation to Kick For A Cure to benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
An ice cream cone"
Kluwe received a few mentions of Tripping Icarus in the weeks following the Vikings’ trade for McNabb, but Kluwe said he is still waiting for McNabb to make the donation to the Kick for a Cure Foundation that the punter supports.
“That would be the major thing. Tripping Icarus got the publicity we needed. That was fine. Two mentions is more than enough. The $5,000 for Kick for a Cure would definitely be appreciated by them,” Kluwe said.
Chris Kluwe's contract with Donovan McNabb
(Courtesy Minnesota Vikings)
Kick for a Cure supports patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the San Diego area, making houses more accessible for those afflicted by installing wheelchair ramps, making vehicles wheelchair-accessible and providing other services.
Kluwe, who is from Los Alamitos, Calif., said he got involved with that charity through a high school friend who suggested it to him.
“I’m pretty involved with it. They have an annual soccer tournament and I’ve been out to that. I think they were talking about doing a PSA (public service announcement) deal,” Kluwe said. “Clay Matthews did one similar for standard Muscular Dystrophy so they wanted to do something similar with me.”
At the end of each season, Kluwe donates $500 for every punt he lands inside the 20-yard line. So far this year, he has 19 of them.
Surrendering his number 5 jersey to McNabb is causing another issue for Kluwe, who has worn number 4 this year. After McNabb was released on Dec. 1, Kluwe wanted to reclaim number 5, but an NFL policy is preventing him from doing that.
“I think the NFL’s policy is you have to wait another year after the year you change your number. So I’d have to go all of 2012, but I think you can make an appeal and I’m planning to because the ruling is so that guys don’t change their numbers every year and the league gets stuck with jerseys they can’t sell,” Kluwe said. “Since I don’t have any jerseys in the store, I’m going to be like, ‘Look, why can’t I just change my number?’”
Kluwe is hoping that rule won’t have to apply to him scine he doesn’t believe any stores carry his jersey. Everyone he knows that has his jersey had to order it as a customized item online.
“Plus, this way, now you get to unload all the Donovan jerseys and people can tape over those,” Kluwe said with a chuckle. “It will be a win-win.”
Kluwe plans to make his appeal to the NFL after the season.
McNabb made $5.05 million this year after renegotiating his contract to join the Vikings.
TOUGH YEAR FOR FRAZIER
Despite the Vikings’ 2-12 record and an offense that is ranked 18th overall (fourth rushing and 28th passing), Vikings coach Leslie Frazier remains encouraged about where things stand with his offense. But overall, the losing record has taken a heavy toll on Frazier.
“Oh, gosh. Oh, man. It’s tough, man. I’m not going to lie to you. To be 2-12 is not what you envisioned, but at the same time because of the way our guys have really prepared every week and tried to come out and give the best effort that they could, that’s what has encouraged me,” Frazier said.
Without the benefit of offseason minicamps, and having pulled the plug on Donovan McNabb after six starts, the Vikings have had their share of obstacles to overcome, but Frazier sees some star players that haven’t given up.
“You see the way these guys are competing and you know they have a lot of pride and they want to be able to play games in December that are setting them up for a playoff run,” Frazier said. “We’re not in that situation, but yet they come out and practice hard and play hard on Sundays. That encourages me that if we can address the right things, we won’t be in this situation in the future. That’s what keeps my head above water, that we’ve got some key components. We’ve just got to fix some other things and we’ll have a chance.”
Adrian Peterson isn’t even listed on the injury report this week after recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered Nov. 20. “He’s much improved. Even from yesterday to today, he was more comfortable in the things that he did,” Frazier said. “He came out of (Sunday’s) game pretty good. He didn’t complain about anything from the game. We’d like to give him some more carries for sure.”
Peterson rushed 10 times for 60 yards in his return to action after sitting out three games, but he said his disappointment with his workload was overplayed. He understood that rushing the ball takes a backseat when a team gets behind by 21 points.
Despite DE Jared Allen receiving a lot of attention from the New Orleans Saints and being held without a sack, defensive coordinator Fred Pagac said it wasn’t much different than usual. “He’s been getting the same protections all year long. He’ll be chipped, double-teamed and obviously a week ago the quarterback got the ball out pretty quick,” Pagac said. “I don’t think things will change for him. I think they’ll continue to chip him.”
Pagac said CB Cedric Griffin’s playing time will likely depend on the health of others. Griffin was pulled two weeks ago and didn’t play on defense Sunday. “He’s been doing a good job this week. He’s working hard. He’s been a pro,” Pagac said. “He’s working at his craft. He’s working at his technique. If he has to play, he’s going to play.”
Pagac admitted that having many of his top defensive backs on injured reserve “probably has a lot to do with” the Vikings going an NFL record nine straight games without an interception.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave admitted the Vikings offense made “not too many strides, if any, against New Orleans.”
Musgrave on center John Sullivan, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension last week: “He’s very smart and very tough. Those are two things we’re always looking for in players. He’s done a good job bouncing back from a rough year in 2010.”
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said rookies Brandon Burton, Mistral Raymond and Emmanuel Arceneaux have showed improved coverage skills on punt and kick coverage.
Priefer said the Vikings haven’t covered punts like he has wanted all year and the punt return game “is not anywhere near where it should be. We’ve had too many penalties.”
G Steve Hutchinson and CB Asher Allen (concussions) haven’t passed their post-concussion impact tests yet and might not practice again on Friday. They appear unlikely to play Saturday against the Washington Redskins.
Anthony Herrera (knee), Jarrad Page (hamstring), Kevin Williams (knee) and Erin Henderson (illness) were limited again on Thursday.
The Redskins’ injury report remained the same, too: T Jammal Brown (groin), LB London Fletcher (ankle), RB Roy Helu (toe/knee) and FB Mike Sellers (elbow) were all limited.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.