It seemingly came as a surprise to King too:
Marquette King went over to the Raiders' facility today to meet some of the coaches. Never got the chance. GM Reggie McKenzie pulled him in, spoke to him and, in the end, informed King he was being released.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 30, 2018
It's not often punter transactions qualify as big news, but this one's a shocker. According to Adam Caplan, the move saves the cap-strapped Raiders $2.9 million. Meanwhile, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reported that he'd heard rumors of a personality clash between Gruden and King, which seems weird considering the tweet above indicates that the two never met.
King, ranks eighth in yards per punt. For the sake of comparison, consider that Rams punter Johnny Hekker, who is largely considered one of the best in the business, averages 47.1 yards per punt in his career while the recently retired Pat McAfee averaged 46.4 yards per punt in his career with the Colts. Last season, King ranked third in net punting average (42.7 yards).is one of the game's best punters. In his five seasons as the Raiders' starting punter, he's averaged 46.8 yards per punt. Among punters who have played in at least 16 games since 2013, King
Translation: King might not be the best punter in football, but he's in the upper tier.
Since Gruden came aboard in January, the Raiders have made plenty of changes in every facet of the game -- including special teams. Long-time kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who missed the entire 2017 season with an injury, in addition to special teams ace Cordarrelle Patterson, who was . The Raiders also signed long snapper Andrew DePaola to a contract that reportedly made him the highest-paid long snapper in football.
Most of the moves Michael Crabtree for the old and injured Jordy Nelson might be a downgrade, signing an unproductive Doug Martin seems unnecessary, and that's all without listing the long list of older players that Gruden has added to a team that won six game last season. The release of King is another questionable decision to add to the list.. Swapping out receiver
Meanwhile, teams in need of better production from their punters should give King a call. Suddenly, one of the best punters in football just hit the open market. He'll have suitors, that's for sure.