49ers free agent No. 3: EDGE Arden Key
San Francisco took a flier on the Las Vegas Raiders’ former draft bust, EDGE Arden Key, signing him to a one-year deal hoping the change of scenery could revitalize his career.
It did. Especially after the 49ers moved Key inside the formation.
Since outside pass-rushers and 3-techniques are worth more than interior-only defensive linemen, one might assume Key would be a bigger priority for the team to re-sign than D.J. Jones, even though there’ll be concerns with Key being a one-year wonder.
Still, the fact Key finished with a career-best 6.5 sacks last season, second most on the Niners defense, suggests he’s found a “forever home.”
Key has a choice, though. Knowing his prior efforts in Las Vegas didn’t pan out, combined with the fact San Francisco defensive line coach Kris Kocurek got the most out of him, might be enticing enough to land a more team-friendly contract to stick around instead of signing elsewhere.
However, Key might be lured away by a big contract another team in need of pass-rushers would be willing to offer.
Again, though, the 49ers have to sell their offer for Key as best as they possibly can to ensure the pass-rushing depth in 2022 doesn’t take a hit.