Once a Raider, now a Bronco. Marquette King is apparently sticking around the AFC West, jumping ship from Oakland to Denver.
As first reported by 9News' Mike Klis, the Broncos signing King to a three-year deal less than a week NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the contract is worth $7 million. The Broncos later confirmed that they've agreed to terms with King.
From enemies to friends:
What a turn of events. King served as the Raiders' starting punter during the past five seasons -- a role he excelled in, evidenced by his career yards per punt average of 46.8. Among punters who have played in at least 16 games since 2013, King ranks eighth in yards per punt. Last season, King ranked third in net punting average (42.7 yards). King might not be the game's best punter, but he's among the game's best.
The Raiders might have finished a disappointing 6-10 last season, but King had nothing to do with their lack of success. He was actually one of the Raiders' best players.
The Raiders gained more expected points over the course of the 2017 season on Marquette King punts than they did on Derek Carr dropbacks— ben baldwin (@guga31bb) April 2, 2018
Which is why it came as a huge surprise when Raiders coach Jon Gruden, reportedly had more to do with a personality clash than anything actually related to football. King certainly wasn't expecting it.moved on from him in a decision that
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
As expected, King's market heated up immediately. It's not every day a punter of his caliber becomes available this late in the offseason,.
The Broncos certainly need better punting. Their punter last year, Riley Dixon, ranked 22nd in net punting average (40.2). Remember: King ranked third in that same stat. So, switching from Dixon to King is a substantial upgrade. Klis reported that Dixon, who is under contract through the 2019 season, is likely available on the trade market.
For King, Denver makes a ton of sense as a landing spot. Not only will he get a chance to stick it to his former team twice a year, but he'll also have the opportunity to punt in Denver's mile-high altitude eight games per season. The Broncos' press release noted that King has averaged 50 yards per punt in five games played in Denver. King told reporters that "Denver is a punter's paradise."
He also admitted that "revenge" played a role in his decision. If you think a punter revenge game might lack excitement, well, clearly you haven't watched King play football before.
Just don't expect him to break out the Bronco celebration again.
Marquette King says he's scrapping the bucking Bronco celebration in Denver. "Now it's time to find a new celebration, because that's when I was trying to troll y'all."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) April 5, 2018