Jaguars continue roster upgrade, sign defensive end Arden Key

Arden Key of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after sacking the quarterback during the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Inglewood, California. The 49ers defeated the Rams 27-24. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) (Michael Zagaris, 2022 Michael Zagaris)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars continue to mine the free agent wire, this time focusing on their pass rush with the signing of defensive end Arden Key.

Key had three disappointing seasons with the Raiders, the team that drafted him, but finally broke through last year with San Francisco. His signing adds more pass rush strength to the Jaguars, although Key is seen more of a high-end backup rather than an every-game starter.

He joins a defense that needs an infusion of players who can get to the opposing quarterback. The Jaguars had just 32 sacks last season. Only the Chiefs (31), Lions (30), Eagles (29) and Falcons (18) had fewer. Josh Allen led Jacksonville with 7.5 sacks last season. Dawuane Smoot followed with six.

Jacksonville has spent big in free agency to upgrade a lean roster.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars have added linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, tackle Folorunso Fatukasi and cornerbacks Xavier Crawford and Darious Williams.

Oluokun and Williams are projected starters. Fatukasi could push for a spot at tackle.

Key was a third-round draft pick of the Raiders in 2018 but turned in the best all-around season of his career with San Francisco last year. Key had 6.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits and 22 total tackles.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.