Ex-Raiders All-Pro Says He’s Joining XFL After Recently Hinting at Retirement

marquette king

Getty Former Raiders punter Marquette King.

Despite proving to be one of the most talented punters in the NFL when he was playing, Marquette King still can’t land on a roster. His flamboyant style has turned many teams off. He was an All-Pro with the Raiders in 2016 and it looked like he’d be with the team for a long time. However, Jon Gruden wasn’t a fan when he was hired and quickly moved on from the star punter.

King had a brief stint with the Denver Broncos after he was cut but has been out of the NFL since 2018. Recently, the punter suggested that he was done trying to play for the NFL in what sounded like a retirement announcement. It looks like that’s not necessarily the case. He’s just 33 and has shown that he can still punt.

Based on a recent tweet, it sounds like King has already arranged plans to join the XFL next year.

King has been a member of the XFL previously in 2020 for St. Louis Battlehawks. He led the league in punting yards that year. He’s the perfect type of player for the XFL target due to his style and personality.

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Could XFL Pave Way for NFL Return?

The XFL will be a great way for King to showcase his talents. Though it’s not the NFL, that shouldn’t affect his ability to show what he can do punting the ball. If he’s got a great average and pins a lot of punts within the 20-yard line, it’ll be difficult for punter-needy teams in the NFL to ignore that.

There are only a handful of great punters in the NFL right now. King was on track to be one of them before he was cut. The XFL will at least allow him to play football some more before he gets too old.

AJ Cole Most Productive Punter in NFL?

For whatever reason, the Raiders just know how to find great punters. Ray Guy and Shane Lechler are arguably the two greatest punters in NFL history and both donned the silver and black. King replaced Lechler and didn’t miss a beat. The Raiders struck gold once again when they signed AJ Cole as an undrafted free agent.

He beat out fifth-round Johnny Townsend as a rookie and now has an iron grip on the punting job. Cole was named First-Team All-Pro last season and is making the case that he’s the best punter in the NFL. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, Cole is the most productive punter in the league:

Great offenses don’t want to count on a punter, of course, but having a good one is extremely valuable. There’s no Justin Tucker of punting in terms of consistently spectacular dominance, but one punter stood out from the pack a year ago.

By Football Outsiders’ metrics, the Raiders generated the sixth-most points of field position of any team in the league on punt plays. That measure includes punting and coverage combined. The measures at Puntalytics attempt to isolate the punter’s role, and by that measure, Cole narrowly beat out Logan Cooke (Jaguars) to be the most productive punter in football on a punt-by-punt basis.

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