Raiders sign P Marquette King to contract extension
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders signed punter Marquette King to a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension Monday to keep him off the free-agent market next week.
King would have been eligible to be an unrestricted free agent March 9 but was able to reach the long-term deal instead.
''I was pretty confident,'' King said. ''I had a feeling that everything was going to work out. I don't usually stress about much.''
King originally joined Oakland as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and spent his first season on injured reserve. But the Raiders then let long-time punter Shane Lechler leave after that season to give King a chance and he seized the opportunity by playing all 48 games since then and improving each season.
King led the NFL in gross punting with a 48.9-yard average in 2013 but had little control. He had 11 touchbacks with just 23 punts inside the 20. But after spending time working on angling and positioning his punts, King has become much more refined of late.
He has 71 punts inside the 20 the past two seasons with just seven touchbacks. King is coming off his best season last year when he had a career-high 40.7-yard net punting average. He set a franchise record with 40 punts inside the 20 with only four touchbacks.
''When I first came in, the only thing I did have was a driver,'' King said. ''Even when I play golf, all I want to do is drive the ball as far as I can still. When I got better with the punting deal, I was focused on punting the ball in the trash cans, putting the trash cans in the corner of the field and just aim, try to put the ball in the trash can.''
For his career, King averages 46.1 yards per punt with a 40.2-yard net average.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL