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.