Clive Walford

Raiders release punter Marquette King

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USATSI

Raiders release punter Marquette King

The Raiders have cut punter Marquette King. The surprise move was announced on Friday afternoon, making one of the league’s best an unrestricted free agent.

The transaction will save $2.9 million in salary cap space for a team up against the NFL’s spending threshold.

This move, however, wasn’t all about money.

King has a unique personality, one that may have potentially clashed with new head coach Jon Gruden and/or special teams coach Rich Bisaccia. A league source indicated that, and an above-average price tag, had an impact in King’s release. The transaction was motivated by new coaches on staff. 

King had three years left on a contract extension signed in the 2016 offseason, and was set to make roughly $3 million per season.

He was told of his release on Friday. There will be a market for his services, even at this late stage of free agency.

King is immensely popular within Raider Nation and across the league, and has a powerful social-media presence. He often celebrates lavishly after a quality performance, and has been penalized for on-field antics. He once threw a penalty flag back at an official, and got into it with Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce. He also posed for a picture with Aqib Talib holding a chain during the 2017 Pro Bowl, playfully jabbing Michael Crabtree's conflict with the then-Denver defensive back. That was not well received by some in the Raiders locker room. 

While incidents like that may rub some the wrong way, there’s no doubting King’s talent. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2016, and has 41.1-yard net average. He excels at pinning opponents deep, with a knack for placing punts inside the 20-yard like. Last season, he had 28 punts downed inside the 20, with just six touchbacks.

King was also the team’s holder.

Colby Wadman is now the only punter on the Raiders roster.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates…

Report: Raiders to release TE Clive Walford

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AP

Report: Raiders to release TE Clive Walford

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Raiders had too many tight ends on the roster. They had three under contract, then added Derek Carrier and re-signed Lee Smith.

Something had to give, especially with salary-cap space running low.

The Silver and Black chose to cut 2015 third-round pick Clive Walford, ESPN reported on Tuesday afternoon, and got some extra money to spend in other places.

They clear $1.9 million in salary cap space which may be enough to help a position of need. The Raiders still hope to re-sign middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who remains on the free-agent market. The Raiders have spoken to his agent at the NFL owners meetings, but still haven’t announced a pact. The extra money may be enough to get it done. Time will tell on that front.

The Raiders could’ve saved more than $5 million by axing Jared Cook, though he’s a superior player to Walford at this stage. Cook led the Raiders with 688 receiving yards and offers a pass-catching element unique to the team’s tight end group.

Gruden called Cook “a great receiving tight end” on Tuesday, just hours before news of Walford’s release.

Walford had nine catches for 80 yards in 13 games played last season. He ended 2017 on injured reserve with concussion-like symptoms and a neck strain.

The Miami product has vast potential as a blocker and receiver, but struggled to gain steady playing time. He was bothered by injuries as a rookie, and had to recover from a knee injury caused by an ATV accident before his second season.

Walford is healthy and should have a market for his services.

Guard Jon Feliciano, fellow Miami alum and member of the Raiders 2015 draft class, said Walford asked for his release from the team. 

Raiders snap count: Patterson, Walford produce with top WRs out

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AP

Raiders snap count: Patterson, Walford produce with top WRs out

OAKLAND – The Raiders ran screen passes a few times Sunday against the Giants, but offensive coordinator Todd Downing though a small tweak might produce a big play.

He discussed with Derek Carr and his offensive staff, and reworked the play there on the sideline. Downing called for it late in the fourth quarter, with Raiders clinging to a three-point lead.

The adjustment worked perfectly. Carr faked a handoff to Marshawn Lynch and threw Cordarelle Patterson a quick dart near the line of scrimmage. Johnny Holton and Seth Roberts created a pocket he burst through, only to find Donald Penn and Rodney Hudson blocking for him on the second level.

Patterson reached the edge and flipped the afterburners. Giants safety Landon Collins had an angle and caught him 59 yards downfield.

“It was just a screen route, we ran it all game but we just did it out of a different formation,” Patterson said. “He said, just get the ball and we are going to score a touchdown. Unfortunately, I got caught and I don’t like getting caught so I was mad after that but we got the win. At the end of the day that’s all that matters.”

The Raiders scored three plays later with Holton’s 9-yard touchdown catch that iced the game. Patterson played a huge role in that score and a few others.

He had four receptions for 97 yards on four targets, an essential performance with Amari Cooper hurt and Michael Crabtree suspended. The Raiders missed their top targets, but Patterson’s effort lessened the blow. Roberts and Holton also contributed to a 27-14 victory.

Patterson did all that on 34 offensive snaps. Holton led the receivers with 51, and Roberts had 46. Practice squad promotion Isaac Whitney had 15 snaps as well in his NFL debut.

Clive Walford also emerged from the shadows to have a big day. He played a season-high 25 offensive snaps, and had four catches for 57 yards on four targets primarily in a receiving role.

“He hasn’t had as many opportunities,” Carr said. “He knew – and I’ve seen it in practice, he was going to be able to win the 1-on-1’s today. He was explosive for us. … If we can have of our guys step up like they did, it’s going to be good for us.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback –
Derek Carr 65
Running back – Marshawn Lynch 32, DeAndre Washington 14, Jamize Olawale 13, Jalen Richard 13
Wide receiver – Johnny Holton 51, Seth Roberts 46, Cordarelle Patterson 34, Isaac Whitney 15
Tight end – Jared Cook 50, Lee Smith 26, Clive Walford 25
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 65, Rodney Hudson 65, Gabe Jackson 65, Marshall Newhouse 65, Donald Penn 62, Vadal Alexander 6, David Sharpe 3

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 51, Denico Autry 39, Mario Edwards 35, Eddie Vanderdoes 32, Treyvon Hester 22, Justin Ellis 17, James Cowser 10
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 62, Nicholas Morrow 59, Bruce Irvin 50, Shilique Calhoun 13, Marquel Lee 1, Xavier Woodson-Luster 1
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 61, Sean Smith 60, Dexter McDonald 43
Safety – Karl Joseph 61, Reggie Nelson 58, Shalom Luani 4, Keith McGill 3

SPECIAL TEAMS
Keith McGill 23, Marquel Lee 21, Jamize Olawale 21, Erik Harris 21, Xavier Woodson-Luster 20, Shalom Luani 16, Obi Melifonwu 13, Shilique Calhoun 12, James Cowser 10, Jalen Richard 10, Jon Condo 9, Isaac Whitney 9, DeAndre Washington 9, Marquette King 9, Giorgio Tavecchio 9, Cordarrelle Patterson 8, Lee Smith 8, Nicholas Morrow 8, Jon Feliciano 7, Johnny Holton 7, Karl Joseph 5, Marshall Newhouse 4, Kelechi Osemele 4, Gabe Jackson 4, Clive Walford 4, Vadal Alexander 4, TJ Carrie 4, Dexter McDonald 4, Justin Ellis 4, Khalil Mack 3, Denico Autry 3, Mario Edwards 3, Treyvon Hester 3, Jared Cook 1, NaVorro Bowman 1.

DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel

INACTIVE
QB Connor Cook, LB Cory James, OT Jylan Ware, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, WR Amari Cooper, DT Darius Latham