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Broncos send message to Marquette King by signing punter to practice squad

To make room for Colby Wadman the Broncos released defensive lineman Niles Scott.
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 30, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Denver Broncos punter Marquette King (1) against the Arizona Cardinals during a pre season game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

KUSA — The Broncos sent at least a tepid warning to Marquette King by signing punter Colby Wadman to their practice squad.

To make room for Wadman, who was undrafted coming out of University of California-Davis last year, the Broncos released defensive lineman Niles Scott.

King is a former Pro Bowl punter for the Oakland Raiders who was released by new coach Jon Gruden in late March. The Broncos signed him to a three-year, $6 million contract (just this year’s $2 million is fully guaranteed) and cut their own punter, Riley Dixon, who is now with the New York Giants.

King ranks 22nd in the league with a 44.6-yard average and is 14th with a 41.6-yard net. He struggled in the rain Sunday at Baltimore, delivering multiple low, short punts, most notably a poor 35-yarder with 33 seconds left in the first half that gave the Ravens the ball at midfield. The Ravens wound up getting a long field goal from Justin Tucker to finish the half.

“He has to simply punt better,’’ Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said at his news conference Monday. “No different than our corners have to play better in coverage, and we’ve got to block better. He’s a football player and he’s got to do his job. He’s got to punt better.”

Ordinarily, teams fill their 10-man practice squad with five offensive players and five defensive players as they help fill out the scout team in practice. Adding a punter is most unusual.

Wadman punted briefly for the Raiders during the past offseason but he has never punted in an NFL game. In his senior year at UC-Davis, Wadman ranked No. 8 in the nation with a 43.2-yard average.

It would not be a surprise if the Broncos brought Niles Scott back as Broncos coaches and staff were impressed with his attitude and work ethic.