Former Raiders DE Arden Key, 49ers Reportedly Agree to 1-Year Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 21, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Arden Key #99 lines up during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jeff Bottari)
Jeff Bottari/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to sign ex-Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Arden Key on a one-year contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

Key, a former LSU star, was selected 87th overall in the 2018 NFL draft. He started 10 games in 2018 but none in 2019 and 2020, appearing in 21 contests in the last two years. The 24-year-old has 49 tackles, 26 quarterback hits and three sacks in his 37 games across three seasons.

Las Vegas waived Key last Thursday, a move that the pass-rusher was clearly happy about (h/t Kenny King Jr. of Just Blog Baby):

Kenny King Jr @KennyKing_Jr

Arden Key issues a statement on his release. (via IG:// ardenkey) https://t.co/boBWCLQPTu

Key now gets a fresh start in San Francisco. Per Rapoport, the move provided the 49ers with "more depth plus some upside."

The 6'5", 240-pound defensive end had a ton of pro potential coming out of college. After recording 20 sacks and 129 tackles, including 24.5 for a loss, during his LSU career, Charlie Campbell of Walter Football and Matt Miller, then of Bleacher Report, compared him to the Minnesota Vikings' Danielle Hunter, a two-time Pro Bowler. Luke Easterling of USA Today gave him a first-round grade in Dec. 2017.

It didn't work out with the Raiders, but perhaps Key taps into that potential in his new NFL home.