The Denver Broncos have signed free-agent punter Marquette King to a three-year contract, the team announced on Thursday.
Pro Football Focus ranked King third among all punters last season, and he finished third in the NFL in net punting average (42.7 yards).
On March 30, the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders released King, whose social media presence was just as large as his punts were booming. While the Raiders did not offer a reason for cutting King, there were whispers that new head coach Jon Gruden’s old-school ways might not have jibed with King’s larger-than-life personality, especially for a punter.
King was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct in consecutive games toward the end of the 2016 season.
“He can’t have another penalty; cannot have another penalty,” then-coach Jack Del Rio said at the time. “I’ve allowed him to have his freedom. I want him to express himself. I think that’s when he’s at his best.
“[But] we can’t have routine 15-yard penalties out of our punter. We’ve got two in a row, two weeks in a row, and that’s got to come to a stop.”
King, 29, originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and the team signed him to a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension in 2016.
Since 2013, when he took over for Shane Lechler in Oakland, King is second in the league in total punts (426), eighth in gross average (46.8 yards), eighth in net average (40.8), third in punts inside the 20-yard line (168) and first in punts inside the 10-yard line (65).
ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez contributed to this report.
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