The Raiders finalized their 53-man roster on Saturday and one of the major releases announced was that of fourth round pick, quarterback Tyler Wilson. But another important cut was that of punter Chris Kluwe.
The release of Kluwe means that first year man Marquette King, from Fort Valley State, has won the job and will begin the season as the Raiders starting punter. King now gets the unenviable task of replacing arguably the greatest punter of all-time, and former Raider mainstay, Shane Lechler.
King and Kluwe had been engaged in a close battle for the job all off-season, with King possessing the more powerful leg, but Kluwe being more consistent with positional punts and more comfortable being the placeholder for kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
King was apparently able to relieve the fears of coach Dennis Allen about him being the placeholder and his impressive 53.6 yard punt average and 45.3 yard net average (both of which would have led the NFL last season) gave him the upper hand over the veteran Kluwe.
The Raiders still have a lot of question marks heading in to next week’s regular season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. But at least there is one position they have a clear, established starter, and his name is Marquette King.