At one time, former Las Vegas Raiders punter Marquette King was at the top of the NFL world. For years, he reigned as one of the best at his position. Despite an over-the-top persona that irritated opponents at times, Raider Nation embraced him, and he embraced the Silver and Black.
Unfortunately for King, all of that came to a sudden halt when the Raiders welcomed back Jon Gruden to the organization. The new head coach quickly made an example of King, cutting him before the punter and his new head coach even met. In a recent interview on Silver & Black Today, King went into detail about what took place a few years ago.
Marquette King says it was “hate” from the former Raiders coach
In retrospect, Gruden’s reputation is tarnished following an email scandal that forced his hand. His intolerance of certain players now comes full circle, and let’s not mince words; Gruden historically had issues with outspoken players. However, as far as King was concerned, he was notified by then-general manager Reggie McKenzie that he was out before he could even meet Gruden.
“I never met the guy before. I never talked to him; I never got a chance to meet any of them, never got a chance to talk to any of them. It was just the weirdest thing ever. It actually kind of hurt.”
Upon his return, Gruden made it clear that if you weren’t on board with his program, you were out. Early on in his tenure, the Raiders jettisoned several key players, with King being one of the earliest victims. Back in 2018, Pro Football Talk (via Vic Tafur and Bill Williamson) reported that Gruden’s issue with King lay in the punter’s attitude. If you add up what King had to say and take that 2018 report into account, his release isn’t all that shocking.
Should King get another shot at the NFL?
King had stated via his Twitter that he wasn’t retiring back in June. In his Tweet, he listed his accomplishments, but he also made light of what he called “discrimination.” Essentially, King blames the Gruden debacle as the reason why he hasn’t gotten another NFL opportunity. His career numbers speak for themselves, including 20,822 punting yards and a 46.7 yard per punt average. At this point, it’s unlikely that King will get a call anytime soon. Nevertheless, never say never.
*Top Photo: HBCU Game Day