During his time with the Raiders from 2012 to 2018, Marquette King was one of the top punters in the NFL. That was especially true in 2014, when he led the league in punting yards and set franchise records. But shortly after Jon Gruden signed a 10-year contract to become the head coach of the Raiders in 2018, King was cut from the team.
King opened up about his release in an interview with Audacy’s Silver and Black Today podcast, saying he got a call from Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie asking him to come to the facility and that McKenzie told him the shocking news that Gruden didn’t want him on the team.
“As soon as I showed up, Reggie was telling me that Gruden doesn’t want me there,” King told Audacy. “We’re about to let you go, we’re gonna put you on the wire, and it’s gonna hit the news soon.”
To make matters even worse, King never even got the chance to meet any members of the new coaching staff, including Gruden, before he was released from the team.
“I never met the guy before. I never talked to him. I tried to reach out to (special teams coach) Rich Bisaccia, he left me on read,” King said. “Any time I get a new coach I try to reach out to him, get to know him, but I never got a chance to meet any of them. I never got a chance to talk to any of them. It was just the weirdest thing ever. It actually kind of hurt. It felt like a loss.”
King was never told exactly why Gruden decided to release him from the team. But he has one simple explanation for why he believes it happened: hate.
“I honestly don’t understand,” King said of the move. “I think it was hate. That’s what I feel like. That’s the only way you can be like that towards somebody if you never met them. I don’t know, some people just got hate in their heart.”
King has not been in the league since appearing in four games for the Denver Broncos in 2018. He’s had numerous tryouts with teams since then, but none of them materialized into a long-term roster spot.
While King has not officially announced his retirement from the league, he Tweeted “I’m done fighting” last month, while listing his career accomplishments, seeming to indicate he would not be returning to the NFL.