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The Marquette King Era Officially Underway in Oakland

Young Punter Will Try to Fill Shane Lechler's Shoes

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | In the words of Tommy Kelly, the writing was on the wall. Only this time, it wasn't about him; it was about long-time Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler.

Lechler just signed a contract with his hometown Houston Texans, ending a 13-year run as one of the greatest players to ever wear the silver and black.

Nobody should be surprised by this move, especially since Oakland's general manager Reggie McKenzie failed to give Lechler the franchise tag.

The tag would have paid him less money than he was already making.

Now that Lechler is out, young Marquette King will have huge shoes to fill (yes, pun intended) as the new punter in Oakland.

King has a booming leg the Raiders have salivated over. There's a reason they kept him on injured reserve despite Lechler still on the team.

There's a YouTube link that shows King destroying 80 yard punts with hang times up to 5.5 seconds while others sit in amazement.

The fact that he's a punter shouldn't even be legal when you consider he's as big as most NFL defensive backs.

Lechler was an amazing punter in Oakland, and is easily one of the best punters in NFL history.

But with McKenzie looking to shed money at every position on the team, it was clear to see why Lechler and his hefty contract weren't in the Raiders' plans.

As the Raiders continue to rebuild, a young punter with a booming leg and a cheap contract has to make them feel relieved.

With that, the Marquette King era is now officially underway in Oakland.

Steven Slivka is a Featured Columnist for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @stevenslivka.

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