On Friday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders shocked much of the football world when they announced that they were releasing punter Marquette King. King had been an outstanding performer in the five years that he served as Oakland’s punter, and had just signed a five-year contract extension with a bunch of guaranteed money with the Raiders in 2016. However, when he arrived at the team’s facility today, they told him that he was being let go.
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings have already made inquiries to King about potentially acquiring his services.
Source said the #Vikings have inquired about punter Marquette King, released today by Oakland. Vikings punter Ryan Quigley is under contract in 2018 for a nonguaranteed $790,000.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 30, 2018
As Tomasson’s tweet says, current punter Ryan Quigley is under contract for a meager $790,000, and signing King would cost significantly more than that. However, the numbers might be there to justify such a thing.
In 2017, King averaged 47.4 yards per punt to an average of 42.2 for Quigley. His net punting average was also better than Quigley’s, as he had a net average of 42.7 yards compared to just 39.2 yards for Quigley. Only five qualifying punters in the NFL last year had a lower net average than Quigley, according to NFL.com, while King’s net average was the third-highest. Quigley had one more punt land inside the 20-yard line than King did (29 to 28), and King did have six touchbacks this past season while Quigley went the entire regular season without one.
Arif has a Twitter thread as to what, exactly, that could mean right here. I don’t know enough about punting statistics and how these things are calculated to make such a declaration myself, but he certainly does.
I’m sure that the Minnesota Vikings aren’t the only team that’s interested in Marquette King at this point, but it is a bit of a surprise to hear that they inquired about him so quickly. We’ll have to see if anything develops along this front.