Since the end of the 2017 season, the Oakland Raiders have been actively reshaping the roster to push the franchise toward pushing them in the right direction. After immediately hiring Jon Gruden to become the team’s new head coach, it was clear that there would be several changes to personnel across the organization.
The latest move saw the Raiders part ways with longtime punter Marquette King after six seasons with the team. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the decision was made while King was trying to meet with some of his new coaches but did not get the chance to do so:
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
The fashion in what this move was conducted shows that the NFL conducts its business as just that more than being a family-like environment. King had ingrained himself with the franchise as one of the centerpieces as a premier player at his position through his first six seasons.
However, it appears that saving nearly $3 million in salary cap space outweighed what he brought to the table to the team. There was also talk that his strong personality didn’t exactly rub the new coaching staff the right way with new head coach Jon Gruden looking to create a new sense of culture around the organization.
The extra salary cap space could be used this offseason to add more talent in areas of need while the team will likely look for an inexpensive option at punter either through free agency or the draft. There are plenty of options for the Raiders to explore to find a replacement.
Meanwhile, it puts King on the open market before the upcoming draft where he could quickly find a new home in the NFL and be a huge factor in special teams. The 29-year-old is widely regarded as being one of the best punters in the league with a career average of 46.8 yards per punt. In the 2017 campaign, he was sixth in the league with 47.4 yards per punt, and third with a 42.7 net punting average.