The Oakland Raiders are one of the few teams with two starting caliber punters on the roster. The loss of Shane Lechler via free agency, who spent 13 seasons as one of the premier punters in the league, leaves a void for the first time in more than a decade. The two combatants vying for the starting punting job are Chris Kluwe and Marquette King.
Kluwe has the edge in experience. He comes to Oakland from the Minnesota Vikings where he played eight seasons. He has a career 44.4 average per punt and had a career best 39.7 net average in 2012. He is a very solid option for the starting job because of his consistency and production over a long period of time.
King was signed as an undrafted free agent last season. He showed off a monster leg in the preseason with punts of 60 and 71 yards. The Raiders stashed him on injured reserve after a foot injury in the second preseason game. His leg is not a question but his consistency lacks as well as his experience. For how impressive his great punts were, his misses were just as disappointing. During training camp, King will have to show the coaching staff he has the focus on the intricacies to make every punt count.
The Raiders will have a very difficult decision in regards to this punting competition. King has a huge upside and leg. Kluwe is a consistent veteran. Looking at it from both angles, the Raiders will have a solid punter on the roster no matter who wins the position, but may be forced to release a very good punter as well.Tags: Chris Kluwe, Football, King, Marquette, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Shane Lechler