You have to wonder if Gruden had that type of pull around the NFL?
We know he didn’t have a problem emailing people about how he felt about certain players and situations. Is it possible that King, a steller punter when he was in the NFL, was blackballed because Gruden said that he would be a distraction and cancer to a team?
King, originally signed by the club as an undrafted free agent in 2012, has spent his first six years with the Raiders. Over his six-year career, he has played in 80 games, recorded 426 punts for 19,941 yards (46.8 avg.), and pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 156 times with 33 touchbacks.
At the time he was cut, here is what the Raiders beat writers were saying about it.
There were whispers of King’s personality not clicking with Gruden’s. I should have listened better. Coach didn’t want to spend a lot of money on punter who gets personal fouls. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 30, 2018
— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) March 30, 2018
After the emails came out, King went on TMZ Sports and implied he feels he isn’t in the NFL right now because of Gruden.
“Once I found out, it was kinda like, now I really wonder what was the real reason why I did get let go,” King said. “I’m still kinda curious about that, about why I got let go. It’s just been a whole roller coaster full of emotions, period.”
King insinuates Gruden created a narrative that made him untouchable to other teams … and now that the coach is out of the league, it could lead to new opportunities.
King did get an opportunity after the Raiders with their rivals, the Denver Broncos, in 2018. He got hurt during the season and reached an injury settlement on his release. He hasn’t played a down in the NFL since then.
A black man with a colorful personality will always rub some people the wrong way in the NFL. At a position like a punter which some teams see as disposable, it wouldn’t take much for Gruden to plant the seed that King wasn’t worth the trouble even though he is still an excellent punter.
Hopefully, he gets another opportunity.
Flip the page for his full interview with TMZ Sports.