Chris Kluwe had fully prepared himself for the letdown. He knew for more than a week his days as the Vikings’ punter were over. So on Monday, in brief morning visits with General Manager Rick Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier, Kluwe simply absorbed his final moments at Winter Park with thick skin and a disappointed shrug.

Spielman told Kluwe the organization was officially moving in a new direction, handing the punting duties over to rookie Jeff Locke. That much had been obvious since the Vikings drafted Locke in the fifth round on April 27.

Frazier, meanwhile, thanked Kluwe for his contributions to the team and his work in the community but offered no detailed explanation for why the punter was being cut.

So Kluwe nodded, accepted his release and saw little point in peppering his bosses with loaded questions.

“I wasn’t expecting to get clear answers,” Kluwe said. “I’m not in the meetings with the management or with the coaches. I don’t know what all is said in there. And honestly, I wouldn’t anticipate them sharing that in full.”

Still, a handful of questions will be asked on Kluwe’s behalf. Topping the list: given the punter’s heightened profile and push to speak out on hot-button societal issues — most notably gay rights and marriage equality — cynics will look at the Vikings’ decision and wonder whether they cut Kluwe based solely on football or whether they had also tired of their veteran punter generating so much off-the-field attention for his candid opinions and activism.

After drafting Locke, Spielman insisted the push to separate from Kluwe was purely competitive.