Last week, the Baltimore Ravens cut Brendon Ayanbadejo. The Ravens certainly have salary cap issues. With departures of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Matt Birk and Anquan Boldin the defending champions seem to be in a full rebuilding mode.
Maybe Ayanbadejo was just a victim of these factors. Maybe not. Even he will admit that his play has dropped off recently, but he believes his release was hastened by his vocal support of gay marriage. The Ravens have denied this.
The only reason most people know Ayanbadejo’s name is because of his support of gay marriage. He is a serviceable player, but mainly just on special teams.
The issue of gay marriage is a very divisive one. It is possible that the Ravens decided to part with Ayanbadejo because they were tired of the attention, both positive and negative, he bought to the team.
If that is the case, nobody should be more worried about his job than Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. You could make the argument that Kluwe is even more vocal in his support of gay marriage. The open letter he wrote to Maryland state delegate Emmett C.Burns is pretty scathing.
Will the Vikings tire of the attention that Kluwe brings to the team?
In terms of gross punting yards, Kluwe ranked 20th in the NFL. The statistics show that he is an average punter at best. Kluwe will count for $1.4 million against Vikings salary cap in the upcoming season. By contrast, Ayanbadejo was only going to cost the Ravens $800K.
It’s always admirable when somebody stands up for what they believe in whether you agree with them or not. Some fans will laud Kluwe for championing the cause. Some fans will view him as a threat to what they view as their way of life.
Probably the majority of Viking fans could not care less what Kluwe says as long as opponents are inside their own five yard line every time he punts the ball.
By Cory Cason