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Vikings sign punter Kluwe to six-year extension

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

Kluwe leads the NFL with 18 punts inside the 20-yard line this season and has averaged 44.2 yards per punt in the first six games. He would have become 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."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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