The Raiders have cut punter Marquette King. The surprise move was announced on Friday afternoon, making one of the league's best an unrestricted free agent.
The transaction will save $2.9 million in salary cap space for a team up against the NFL's spending threshold.
This move, however, wasn't all about money.
King has a unique personality, one that may have potentially clashed with new head coach Jon Gruden and/or special teams coach Rich Bisaccia. A league source indicated that, and an above-average price tag, had an impact in King's release. The transaction was motivated by new coaches on staff.
King had three years left on a contract extension signed in the 2016 offseason, and was set to make roughly $3 million per season.
He was told of his release on Friday. There will be a market for his services, even at this late stage of free agency.
King is immensely popular within Raider Nation and across the league, and has a powerful social-media presence. He often celebrates lavishly after a quality performance, and has been penalized for on-field antics. He once threw a penalty flag back at an official, and got into it with Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce. He also posed for a picture with Aqib Talib holding a chain during the 2017 Pro Bowl, playfully jabbing Michael Crabtree's conflict with the then-Denver defensive back. That was not well received by some in the Raiders locker room.
While incidents like that may rub some the wrong way, there's no doubting King's talent. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2016, and has 41.1-yard net average. He excels at pinning opponents deep, with a knack for placing punts inside the 20-yard like. Last season, he had 28 punts downed inside the 20, with just six touchbacks.
King was also the team's holder.
Colby Wadman is now the only punter on the Raiders roster.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates…