The Oakland Raiders surprised many people when they announced the release of punter Marquette King, who was a Second Team All-Pro in 2016.
The team saved $2.9 million against the cap with the move, so there was a financial benefit to making this personnel move. However, Vic Tafur of The Athletic is reporting this had more to do with Jon Gruden clashing with King’s personality than anything else.
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
Bill Williamson of Raiders Snake Pit also noted the move was intended as a “message” to the rest of Oakland’s roster.
— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) March 30, 2018
King is known for being a big personality. He dances after punting, which has led to penalties and earned the ire of former head coach Jack Del Rio. He performs unique trick shots and the like on his social media accounts. He’s all about having fun and showboating, which apparently isn’t a desired trait of a Gruden Grinder.
It’s going to be fascinating to see what else Gruden has in store for the Raiders. He’s brought in a bunch of older players who “know how to be professionals” this offseason, and it remains to be seen if that will be a positive or negative thing for this team.