Two players the Las Vegas Raiders opted to move on from this offseason are heading back to the Bay Area. This time with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Raiders went to work this offseason, revamping their defensive line which had a putrid 2020. In retrospect, they were unable to sustain a reliable pass rush nor stop the run on a consistent basis. To be fair, the free-agent acquisitions of Maliek Collins and Carl Nassib didn’t pan out. With defenses zeroing in on Maxx Crosby, his impact was diminished as well.
Thus, the organization decided to sign Yannick Ngakoue and a slew of veterans along the defensive line. These moves mean that the defensive line will have both newly found depth and a new look. Unfortunately, this meant that Maurice Hurst and Arden Key were the odd men out for Las Vegas.
Raiders decided it was time to move on
After the Silver and Black decided both Key and Hurst were expendable, finding new employment didn’t take them long. Both defensive linemen will be joining the Raiders’ former Bay Area rivals, the 49ers. Hurst even expressed his excitement on Twitter, citing his excitement in joining a prolific defense.
49ers Let’s Go to Work!! This defense is about to go crazy!! Time to eat!
— Maurice Hurst Jr (@mohurstjr) April 22, 2021
Hurst, if healthy in 2021, still has upside considering his talent and previous production. He’s been graded at 77.0 since 2018 by Pro Football Focus, this addition could end up being big for the 49ers. Key, on the other hand, was largely a disappointment who received several opportunities to blossom. In the end, the Raiders’ brass felt it was time to move on. Raiders head coach had hoped Rod Marinelli could unlock Key’s potential, alas, this didn’t happen. Now, Raider Nation might have to witness two former players move on to greener pastures as that’s been the trend these past few years.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Ron Schwane