When Marquette King was surprisingly cut by the Oakland Raiders, it didn’t take long for the flamboyant punter to find a new home with the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
One of the league’s best punters — he was fourth last season with 42.7 net yards per punt — King was also prone to showboating and celebrating big plays that sometimes led to 15-yard penalties.
With a cap hit of around $3 million annually on the remaining three years of his deal, some pointed to cost-cutting measures as the impetus for his release. But there were also reports that new coach Jon Gruden, who’s openly taking an old-school approach to running the team, did not like King’s antics and wanted him gone despite his value as a punter.
There were whispers of King’s personality not clicking with Gruden’s. I should have listened better. Coach didn’t want to spend a lot of money on punter who gets personal fouls. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 30, 2018
King said last week after he signed with the Broncos that he never actually met Gruden.
He spoke with NFL Network’s Jim Trotter on Sunday and opened up about the rumors of a personality conflict in Oakland, lamenting that the Raiders didn’t approach him about any perceived problems before cutting him.
“You can’t judge me by what you see on TV or social media, and sadly, a lot of people do that,” King said. “If those things were an issue, just sit down and tell me. I can be a zombie if you want me to. But everybody knows what they sign up for when they get into professional sports. You know there are going to be ups and downs, and you’ve got to be able to handle them regardless of the situation, with professionalism and a positive attitude.”
It’s hard to imagine a punter having the ability to stick to his old team that he felt didn’t necessarily treat him well, but if anyone can do it, King is the guy.
“It would have been different if I had a bad year, but I had a good year and I didn’t do anything wrong,” King told Trotter. “I didn’t break the law or do any domestic violence or hurt people or disrespect people. I’m looking forward to helping Denver, but I do have a huge chip on my shoulder. It’s going to be fun to play the Raiders twice a year.”
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