Marquette King

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Broncos, Chargers

The Raiders recently released Marquette King following what was described as a personality clash between the veteran punter and new Oakland head coach Jon Gruden, but King says he’s perfectly capable of toning down his act if need be. “You can’t judge me by what you see on TV or social media, and sadly, a lot of people do that,” King tells Jim Trotter of NFL.com. “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.” King has since signed a thee-year pact with the Broncos, and is clearly relishing the opportunity to play against the Raiders twice per season from here on out.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Although the Raiders are reportedly not close to an extension with star pass rusher Khalil Mack, the club expects to reach an agreement before the 2018 campaign gets underway, tweets Trotter. Mack failed to report for the first day of voluntary workouts on Tuesday, but no one inside the Oakland organization is panicking, per Trotter. The fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Mack has averaged 12 sacks per year over the past three seasons and is likely looking for an annual salary in the $20MM range. Mack, 27, is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and is scheduled to earn a base salary of $13.836MM thanks to his fifth-year option.
  • Several rival teams have told Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com that the Raiders are open to dealing the No. 10 overall selection, and a trade could become all the more likely if a quarterback prospect is still on the board when Oakland’s turn comes. While the draft’s top four signal-callers may well be gone by pick No. 10, second-tier passers such as Lamar Jackson and/or Mason Rudolph could still be available (one AFC executive thinks both will be selected in the top-20, per La Canfora). At that point, the Raiders — who are already set with Derek Carr under center — could collect extra draft capital by moving back a few slots.
  • Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea met with the Chargers on Tuesday, according to Josh Norris of Rotoworld (Twitter link). To this point, Vea has also set up visits with the Bengals, Cowboys, Packers, Buccaneers, and Browns, and is widely viewed as a surefire first-round pick. In Los Angeles, the 6’5″, 340-pound Vea would play in between star pass rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and help the Chargers cover for the suspended Corey Liuget. He’d also be considered an eventual replacement for fellow defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who is entering his age-33 campaign.
  • While most mock drafts have the Broncos ending up with a quarterback, running back Saquon Barkley, or guard Quenton Nelson, Mike Klis of 9News argues Denver could consider trading back and hitting other positions. Receiver and corner are still considered areas of need on the Broncos’ roster, so general manager John Elway could conceivably pick up a few extra picks and use his first-rounder on those positions.

AFC Notes: Browns, Allen, Ravens, Broncos

Quarterbacks have justifiably dominated draft-centric Browns conversations this offseason, but Joe Thomas‘ retirement has left a hole the franchise hasn’t had to worry about since the Romeo Crennel regime. And as of now, the Browns have shifted Shon Coleman from right to left tackle, Terry Pluto of cleveland.com notes. With Chris Hubbard having been signed to play right tackle, the 6-foot-6 Coleman — a 2016 third-round pick who started all 16 games at right tackle last season — Coleman finds himself with either an opportunity to replace a legend or on the verge of being demoted. An anonymous NFL exec, per Pluto, does not believe John Dorsey will go into training camp with Coleman stationed atop the Browns’ depth chart at left tackle. Pro Football Focus preferred Coleman’s pass-blocking work to his ability to open running lanes, bestowing a middling overall grade upon the young blocker, but Coleman’s 14 penalties were the most among tackles last year.

Thomas replacement Spencer Drango, a 2016 fifth-rounder, gave up 11 sacks — most in the league in 2017. The exec floated the idea of the Browns trading down from No. 4 and selecting a tackle, but the team holds the Nos. 33 and 35 overall picks that could be used on a tackle without sacrificing prime first-round real estate.

Here’s the latest from the AFC:

  • Contrary to a previous report, the Jets do not have a Josh Allen visit scheduled, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. However, Gang Green brass did trek to Wyoming this week to observe a private workout. The Jets have been linked to Allen for months, and several team officials “love” the 6-foot-5 quarterback’s skill set. Allen has also been connected to the Browns and is among the four passers visiting the Giants next week.
  • As he did for Texans owner Bob McNair‘s deposition in his collusion lawsuit, Colin Kaepernick attended those of Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. The Ravens duo’s depositions have been completed. The team was linked to Kaepernick in 2017 but did not end up signing him. Conflicting reports came out over the past several months regarding Harbaugh’s interest in Kaepernick, who led two of Jim Harbaugh‘s best 49ers teams. The Ravens signed Robert Griffin III, who also did not play football in 2017, this week.
  • The Broncos cut ties with Britton Colquitt before the 2016 season because his salary was escalating out of the franchise’s comfort zone, but now they’ve landed Marquette King. He will make $2MM per year on average. King also confirmed there was a bit of a revenge measure associated with his signing with perhaps the Raiders’ biggest rivals. “I just wanted to find the best place that I thought I would fit,” King said, via Mike Klis of 9News. “I think there is somewhat of a revenge factor in there, too.” King punted for Dennis Allen– and Jack Del Rio-coached teams from 2012-17, but unlike the former Denver defensive coordinators, new Oakland HC Jon Gruden wasn’t a fan of the punter’s personality. King said the Broncos did not ask him to tame down his antics.
  • Expect the Broncos to try and get what they can for incumbent punter Riley Dixon, Klis notes. The Syracuse product selected in the seventh round in 2016 has two years remaining on his rookie deal, but being a punter coming off a down season, it’s possible the Broncos may simply have to waive Dixon. Klis observes a trend in Denver ditching or demoting core members of its 2017 special teams units, which struggled. ST coordinator Brock Olivo was fired after one season, Dixon has now been replaced and ex-UDFAs have been brought in to compete with Brandon McManus and long snapper Casey Kreiter.

Giants Had Interest In Marquette King

Marquette King signed with the Broncos, but not before hearing from some other interested teams. The Giants were among the clubs to reach out to the former Raiders punter, according to Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). 

Ultimately, the Giants were unwilling to match or exceed the Broncos’ offer. King’s contract is a two-year, $4MM deal with an option that can take him into a third year at an additional $2MM, which would give him $6MM in total. If King is a First-Team All-Pro in 2019, his 2020 salary will escalate from $2MM to $3MM, boosting the total value of the pact to $7MM. It’s worth noting that despite King’s notoriety, he has never before earned a First-Team All-Pro nod. The closest he ever came in that regard was a Second-Team All-Pro selection in 2016.

King’s previous deal with the Raiders had him as the fifth-highest paid punter in the league at an average rate of $3.3MM/year. His new deal puts him in the middle of the pack at $2MM/year, so this is ostensibly a bargain signing for the Broncos.

The Vikings also expressed interest in King before he agreed to terms with Denver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos To Sign Marquette King

Things are moving quickly for the Broncos and punter Marquette King. Denver is expected to sign him to a three-year deal, a source tells Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The contract is worth $7MM, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The base value of King’s deal is worth just $2MM, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post tweets, so he’ll have to hit certain incentives in order to realize the full $7MM potential value of his deal.

King was released by the Raiders late last week without much warning. Apparently, new head coach Jon Gruden was not a fan of King’s outspoken personality, but that did not dissuade other contenders from expressing interest in him. The Vikings quickly got in contact with King and it did not take long for the Broncos to get down to brass tacks with his agent.

King is perhaps the league’s best known punter thanks to his persona and is also among the very best in terms of performance. The Broncos have revamped their special teams unit this offseason and the addition of King is the latest, and perhaps most impactful, shakeup.

In 2017, King’s 47.4 yards per punt average was the sixth-highest in the NFL and his net average of 42.7 per try placed him third, behind only Brett Kern (Titans) and Johnny Hekker (Rams).

With King on board, the Broncos will likely shop incumbent punter Riley Dixon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Meeting With Marquette King

Here we go. Former Raiders punter Marquette King is in Denver visiting with the Broncos, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

As we learned earlier today, King is hoping to join the Broncos in an effort to get some intra-divisional revenge on Jon Gruden. The Broncos, meanwhile, have interest in upgrading from Riley Dixon, who had an iffy year in 2017 after a strong showing as a rookie in 2016.

King led the NFL in punting yards in 2014 and earned a second-team All-Pro nod two years later. Last year, King’s 47.4 yards per punt average was the sixth-highest mark in the NFL and his net average of 42.7 per try was third. In Denver, the 29-year-old could boom punts further than ever.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marquette King Wants To Join Broncos

They say the best revenge is living well. Playing for your former team’s rival after getting cut late in the offseason is probably a close second. Former Raiders punter Marquette King wants to play for the Broncos, agent Wynn Silberman tells Mike Klis of 9News.com

Marquette would love an opportunity to come visit there,’’ Silberman said. “Obviously, Denver is a punter’s dream. They’re high on his list.”

King, who is known for his powerful leg, could boom punts even further in Denver’s mile-high altitude. It’s a fit that would make sense for both parties. The Broncos saw Riley Dixon turn in a so-so year in 2017, so King would serve a clear upgrade. Meanwhile, King can break new records while hurting his former employer.

Still, money could be a barrier here. Dixon, a former seventh-round pick, is slated to make just $630K this year. King, meanwhile, was on track to earn $3MM as one of the highest-paid players at his position in 2018.

Then again, the Broncos have overhauled their special teams unit this offseason, so they could be willing to spend the extra cash to improve further. Special teams coordinator Brock Olivo was canned this winter and replaced veteran Tom McMahon. Meanwhile, Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, and Corey Nelson were allowed to leave and undrafted players have been brought in as competition for kicker Brandon McManus and long snapper Casey Kreiter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Cut Marquette King Over “Personality” Clash

Late last week, the Raiders cut fan favorite Marquette King in a move that was ostensibly about money. By releasing the punter, Oakland saved $2.9MM against the cap, but apparently that was not the only factor. King’s personality did not jibe with coach Jon Gruden, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter) hears. 

Some of Gruden’s concerns may have been rooted in the on-field impact of King’s antics. While King is among the best at his position, he has tallied four personal fouls over the last two seasons. One of his most memorable moments came in December 2016 when the Bills were flagged for roughing the punter and King received a penalty of his own when he danced with the flag.

King’s personality won’t dissuade other teams from pursuing him. The Vikings reached out to King immediately after he was cut and more clubs are sure to follow this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Inquired About Marquette King

It might not take long for punter Marquette King to find a new home after being released by the Raiders earlier today. The Vikings have reportedly already reached out to him according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). 

If it wasn’t already apparent, the Vikings are all in on going for it this season. Though punter Ryan Quigley, who is still under contract for 2018, did down 29 of his 71 punts inside the 20-yard line, the Vikings also ranked last in the league in yards per punt in 2017 (42.2). So it makes sense for Minnesota to kick the tires on one of the best in the league the last few years.

King was in the midst of a five-year, $16.5MM contract signed in March of 2016 before being released on Friday.

The sixth-year pro led the NFL in punting yards in 2014 and earned a second-team All-Pro nod two years later. Last year, King’s 47.4 yards per punt average was the sixth-highest mark in the NFL and his net average of 42.7 per try was third.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Release Punter Marquette King

The Raiders announced that they have released punter Marquette King. King has been a longtime fan favorite, but new head coach Jon Gruden will seek out a different fourth-down solution. He was in the midst of a five-year, $16.5MM contract signed in March of 2016.

The charismatic King, who led all punters in Pro Bowl fan voting this year, was the NFL’s punting yards leader in 2014 and earned a second-team All-Pro nod in ’16. Last year, King’s 47.4 yards per punt average was good for sixth in the NFL and his net average of 42.7 per try was third behind only Brett Kern (Titans) and Johnny Hekker (Rams).

Hekker is widely regarded as the best punter in the game today, but King has a similarly strong reputation. He is now free to find work elsewhere while the Raiders save $2.9MM against $150K in dead money.

Colby Wadman, 22, now stands as the only punter on Oakland’s roster. The team may bring in some competition for him between now and camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Broncos, Jags, 49ers, Falcons

The Broncos have been connected to quarterback Tony Romo, whom they could pursue in free agency if the Cowboys cut him, but head coach Vance Joseph insisted Tuesday that Denver’s 2017 starter is already on its roster. On whether he’s committed to Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, Joseph said (via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com): “Absolutely, I am. They’re both smart guys. Obviously different skill sets, but I’m committed to both of those kids. They’re good football players and we’ve got to build around those guys.” Joseph’s offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, echoed his boss, saying he’s “happy with the guys we have.”

After the Broncos hired Joseph and McCoy last month, Mike Klis of 9News reported that the club would rather start Lynch than Siemian next season. As a first-round rookie last year, Lynch sat behind Siemian – who fared OK in his first season as a No. 1 – but did see action in three games and pick up two starts.

More from around the NFL:

  • Browns linebacker Jamie Collins and cornerback Joe Haden; Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and punter Marquette King; and Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David each saw portions of their contracts become fully guaranteed Wednesday. The details can be found here, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry.
  • Of Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas‘ $7MM salary in 2017, $3MM will become fully guaranteed Friday, per Corry, but Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union disputes that. Thomas isn’t due to receive the $3MM until March 9, the first day of the league year, a source told O’Halloran (Twitter link).
  • The Kyle Shanahan-led 49ers will hire longtime NFL defensive lineman Jeff Zgonina as their D-line coach, reports Sporting News’ Alex Marvez. Zgonina, who played in the league from 1993-2005, spent last season assisting along the Giants’ defensive line.
  • Shanahan could bring former Falcons colleague Eric Sutulovich with him to the 49ers, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Sutulovich, who’s the Falcons’ assistant special teams coach, will likely interview to become the 49ers’ ST coordinator, relays Caplan.
  • One assistant the Falcons won’t lose is Keith Carter, whom they promoted to running backs coach Wednesday. Carter worked as Atlanta’s assistant offensive line coach over the previous two seasons. The club is also likely to hire Bryant Young to replace the fired Bryan Cox as its defensive line coach, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Young, a four-time Pro Bowl D-lineman who accumulated 89.5 sacks as a careerlong 49er from 1994-2007, played under Falcons head coach Dan Quinn in San Francisco (2001-04) and coached alongside him at Florida (2011-12).