3 former Jacksonville Jaguars we'll be glad are gone, 2 we'll wish stayed in 2023
2. Player the Jacksonville Jaguars won't miss in 2023: Arden Key, DE
There are different ways to look at defensive end Arden's key decision to cross enemy lines and sign with the Tenessee Titans in free agency but one thing is sure: The former LSU Tiger can play football, it's just that he may have overestimated the impact he had in Jacksonville last year.
A third-round selection by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2018, Key was pressed into a starting role even though he wasn't ready. To nobody's surprise, he wasn't much of a factor in his rookie season, registering one sack, 30 total tackles, and 11 tackles for a loss in 16 games. The Georgia native didn't get much better in the following two seasons and instead saw his playing time decrease.
The Raiders thought they had seen enough of Key and waived him in 2021. The San Francisco 49ers quickly swooped in and claimed him. Under then-defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, he was able to rehabilitate his stock and went on to register a career-high 6.5 sacks.
Even though Key had the chance to join the Kansas City Chiefs, he chose the Jags because of the challenge it presented. The rose up to the occasion and became a locker room leader. Moreover, he became an important piece of Jacksonville's pass-rush rotation. Even though he only played just 41 percent of the defensive snaps, he logged 4.5 sacks and 20 total pressures.
Key was looking for a pay bump in the offseason but was disrespected by the offer the Jaguars made, so he promptly signed with the Titans. Just like the Jags, Key made a business decision but making it sound as if he was the reason Jacksonville made the playoffs might have been too much.
Nobody will deny Key was an important cog on defense last year but the Jaguars will be in a position to find his replacement in the draft.