Arden Key on being waived by Raiders: “I wanted to get out of there”


Back in April, the Raiders waived a pair of defensive linemen that they’d drafted back in 2018. One was Maurice Hurst and the other was Arden Key.

The Raiders seemed to have big plans for Key when they selected him in the third round out of LSU. But Key never really got things going with the franchise, registering only 3.0 sacks in 37 games. He played 40 percent of the team’s defensive snaps last season and had two tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits, and a pair of passes defensed.

Key and Hurst both signed with the 49ers in April, heading back to the Bay Area after a season in Southern Nevada. Speaking to the media over the weekend, Key made it clear that he was not upset when Las Vegas elected to cut him.

“I wasn’t totally surprised,” Key said, via Jacob Hutchinson of KNBR. “To be honest, I wanted to get out of there. I been wanting to get out of there. I wasn’t surprised. I was more happy than surprised. I wish it happened a little earlier but, hey, I got what I wanted and I’m good.”

Key added that the situation in Las Vegas was “just bad all around for me. … Bad system. I just wasn’t the right fit for me and I had to get out.”

The defensive end noted that he and Hurst spoke after taking their respective visits to San Francisco before both choosing to end up in the same place again.

“It was just one of those deals where we got drafted together and there were certain things we wanted to change at the Raiders, and over here, it fit right in with both of our skillsets,” Key said. “It was just night and day. When they called and we came to visit and they was talking and we was looking at the film and everything, it was like, ‘Aw, we should be here. This is where we need to be.”

Time will tell if Key and Hurst can be more productive with the 49ers. But it’s abundantly clear that Key couldn’t be happier to get away from his former workplace.

13 responses to “Arden Key on being waived by Raiders: “I wanted to get out of there”

  1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say no system suits his skill set. He was a undersized pass rush specialist, they used him as such, and he has three sacks in almost 40 games of PT. Speaks volumes.

  2. That’s funny because Raider fans were more than happy to hear that he was released. BYE!

  3. There is a lot of smoke coming from Las Vegas and I bet there is a dumpster fire somewhere. We shouldn’t be surprised, after all the fireman is Jon Gruden.

  4. Yeah, you can’t fire me, I quit. That departure doesn’t leave a good impression. Sorry the raiders didn’t design a defense to match your perceived skills.

  5. Key was a complete bust and everyone knows it. And you wonder why the defense was very poor. Both players degraded quickly.

  6. Key added that the situation in Las Vegas was “just bad all around for me. … Bad system.

    I’m certainly not a Raiders fan, but Arden Key’s problem in Las Vegas wasn’t a “bad system.”
    While every player has a certain scheme he prefers or best excels in, the really good ones find a way to thrive in most any system. Average ones can only get the job done under optimal circumstances.
    Will he thrive elsewhere? Perhaps. It’s happened with plenty of other players throughout NFL history. But my eyes and guy tell me Mr. Key isn’t the player he thinks he is, and like to so many before him, will soon become little more than a distant memory.

  7. Key was making stupid plays that drew penalties, like the face mask near the end of the Miami game that put them in position to win. Buh bye!

  8. In a more detailed interview, the difference between the Raiders system and 49ers defensive coach Kris Kocurek’s “Wide-9” formation is that the Raiders put the d-linemen toe-to-toe on the line against offensive linemen where the 49ers line up their rushers in space which favors a tall rusher but leaner like Key (6’5, 240). Without as many responsibilities at the line, Key can focus on rushing the QB. I guess we’ll see in the coming months whether it was the player or the system.

  9. kcsam76 says:
    August 9, 2021 at 12:27 pm
    That’s funny because Raider fans were more than happy to hear that he was released. BYE!


    Would that be the same Raiders fans who constantly have a crap team to watch? Or the ones who have a horrible coach and GM who for some reason cannot judge talent? Maybe it’s the fans who actually think Gruden who has never actually built a winning team but so far has managed to tear two apart in his career will win something one day. Doesn’t matter in reality. As reality is the Raiders will be a non playoff team again this year.

  10. Arden Key created his highlights reel when he was with the Raiders, and there wasn’t many highlights. But there are several factors to consider, 1. Guenthers defense scheme, always hurt or sick, and not alot of talent around him. But I say it again, he made his highlight reels. He reminds me alot of JRock, not willing to put in the work and time. Arden Key mantra is coulda, woulda, shoulda. I wish him the best.

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