Today, the Jaguars announced that they’ve signed defensive lineman Arden Key, another player to join their now nine-man free agency class this year.
Key, 25, most recently played with the San Francisco 49ers in 2021 after being selected by the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of LSU. Key visited Jacksonville on March 22 and has taken a tour of sorts around the NFL before ultimately deciding that Jacksonville was the place to sign with.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Key will sign a one-year deal worth up to $7M, a potential cash-in for the young defensive lineman still searching for a long-term deal.
The #Jaguars announced the signing of DL Arden Key. Source says it’s a one-year deal that’s worth up to $7 million.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 30, 2022
In four years, Key has started just 10 games, while playing in 54 total. He’s accumulated 9.5 sacks, 71 combined tackles (45 solos), 13 tackles for loss and 43 quarterback hits. His best season would come in 2021 with the 49ers, accounting for 6.5 sacks, five TFLs and 17 QBHs.
Key’s versatility is likely one reason for the move, as he’s shown the ability to rush the passer from both the DE position and inside at the three-technique position.
Arden Key is having the best year of his career under 49ers superstar DL coach Kris Kocurek, primarily lining up inside as a 3T using a silky smooth swipe move for 4 of his 5 HQ sacks this season. Another example of elite coaching unlocking disregarded talent. pic.twitter.com/QjlrLGdGEC— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) December 30, 2021
Key, in signing with Jacksonville, will reunite with defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who coached the Raiders’ defensive line in 2019. Key will figure to be installed heavily into Jacksonville’s rotation outside, a group that right now includes Dawaune Smoot, Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson as the primary pass rushers.