Sources: Vikings Have Inquired About Punter Marquette King

Even though Ryan Quigley had a very impressive 2017 regular season

According to Chris Tomasson of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Vikings have inquired about punter Marquette King. King was released by the Oakland Raiders earlier today.

King, 29, went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was signed as a free agent by Oakland where he eventually beat out former Viking Chris Kluwe for the punting job in 2013. He went on to lead the league with 4,930 punt yards in 2014 and has averaged 46.8 yards per punt in his six-year career.

The Vikings, who have punter Ryan Quigley on the roster, can cut the veteran with no cap penalty. He has a career average of 44.1 yards per punt. Although he had zero touchbacks the entire 2017 regular season, Quigley averaged 42.2 yards per punt, last in the NFL.

Last season King averaged 47.4 yards per punt (sixth in the league). The former Raider was released two years into a five-year, $16.5 million contract.

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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  1. That’s certainly a head-scratching move on Jon Gruden’s part, big salary notwithstanding. Signing him would be a bit of a head-scratcher for the Vikings, too, since Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer has long emphasized that his punter must, first and foremost, not out kick his coverage unit, and King has a BIG leg. According to Pro Football Talk, in six years and 426 punts, King pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 156 times (26 per year) and had 33 touchbacks (5.5 per year) that brought the ball back out to the 20. I don’t know about his career stats, but according to Christopher Gates over at the Daily Norseman, Quigley pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 29 times and had zero touchbacks in 2017. Given the quality of the Vikings’ coverage units, especially gunners Marcus Sherels and Jayron Kearse, maybe the Vikes figure they can still keep the number of touchbacks low even with a punter like King booming away?

    Switching out Quigley for King would be quite a culture change in another way, too, given that King apparently likes to celebrate his punts with displays like pretending to climb on a horse’s back and prancing back to the sidelines. Yeah, prancing back to the sidelines while pretending to whip his horse’s read end, that sounds like just the kind of thing that Mike Priefer and Mike Zimmer would like to see their punter do. Although King was supposedly popular among Raiders fans and was never a problem off the field, there was a subset of fans there, and certainly would be in Minnesota, who would just as soon their punter remained invisible.

    Pro Football Focus rates King among the top 10 punters in the NFL but has also had complimentary things to say about Quigley and his ball placement. Signing King would be a bold move on Rick Spielman’s part, and no one expects King to be on the market for long or to be a bargain, but I really have to wonder if it makes sense for this team to sign this player. It seems to me that the punting game, one almost inexplicable TD return last year excepted, is working just how the Vikings have wanted it to work, and if it’s not really broken, why bother fixing it?

    1. Great points CKA. The last thing the Vikings needs is another distraction at punter (even though I love Chris Kluwe). Not sure the placement of Quigley’s punts should be be overlooked by the potential distances of King’s.

  2. Quigley is just the punting equivalent of Case Keenum. He is more a product of the players around him than his own ability.

    King had a cap hit of $2.5 million in 2017. I doubt that the Vikings are going to be willing to spend anything close to that to have King on the roster. If he would be willing to sign for $1 million a year (which admittedly is open to more than a little question), the Vikings should ink him to a contract ASAP.