Broncos sign former Raiders punter Marquette King to three-year deal

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Another signing, another fresh start offered by the Denver Broncos.

Much like safety Su'a Cravens said he hopes joining the Broncos will give him a chance to kick-start his career, punter Marquette King hopes his newly minted, three-year deal with Denver can mean he can be himself and play his best.

"The cool thing about the Broncos is the people that work at the Broncos encourage you to be yourself," King said Thursday. "That is real cool. Players play a lot better when they can let their hair down and be themselves. It's cool. They encourage it."

King agreed a three-year, $7 million deal with the Broncos, who continued to acquire players after the initial wave of free agency had already passed. Since the leaguewide spending frenzy in the opening week of free agency, the Broncos have since made trades to acquire tackle Jared Veldheer and Cravens, as well as signing King.

King, who was third in the NFL in net punting last season (42.7 yards), was released March 30 by the Oakland Raiders and there have been whispers that new coach Jon Gruden may not have meshed with King's outspoken personality.

King is active on social media and a popular interview. In 2016, he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct in consecutive games and last season he was penalized in a game against the Broncos.

"The last few days were definitely different," King said. "It felt like -- you know how you play those UFC games and you get punched and you're in a daze until you get knocked out? That's what it kind of felt like. It all happened so fast. I just felt like Denver was the best team to go to."

King said Thursday he had not spoken to Gruden before or since his release by the Raiders, adding, "I never got a chance to talk to him. I just saw him on car commercials and stuff. [Now] I get to see him two times a year.''

King also said he didn't an "exact reason'' from anyone with the Raiders about why he was released.

Asked if the Broncos had talked to him about tempering his personality, King said:

"No such thing as too much. Obviously the thing was not getting penalties, but like I said, all that happened two years ago. There was only one instance last year against the Broncos where I did get a flag. It is nothing that should happen again at all. Maybe if I was trying to save someone from scoring a touchdown and grabbing his horse collar. Other than that, it is what it is. It's in the past.''

King, 29, originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and the team signed him to a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension in 2016.

Since 2013, when he took over for Shane Lechler in Oakland, King is second in the league in total punts (426), eighth in gross average (46.8 yards) and net average (40.8), third in punts inside the 20-yard line (168) and first in punts inside the 10-yard line (65).

He will now presumably replace Riley Dixon, who has been the Broncos punter since he was a seventh-round pick in the 2016 draft.