Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Arden Key

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The Falcons are set to have around $56 million in cap space this offseason, and that figure could quickly balloon to nearly $70 million if Atlanta parts ways with Marcus Mariota. There isn’t a single position group that doesn’t need top-end talent or depth. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith are entering a critical juncture in their tenure with more cap space than ever. This continues a series of potential Falcons free agent targets, moving on to Arden Key. Below are past editions:

Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Arden Key

Arden Key has gone from a potential bust to an impact player in just a couple of years. The LSU product was highly regarded in Baton Rouge for his immense physical stature and athletic prowess. Things just didn’t work out for him with the Raiders, but Key revitalized his career in 2021 with the 49ers, then followed it up with another productive season with the Jaguars in 2022. Over those two seasons, he’s posted 90 combined quarterback pressures and registered 11 sacks.

“Key’s 14.6% pressure percentage over the past two seasons ties for 17th among edge defenders, and he’s still an ascending player with the ability to rush the passer from all over the defensive line,” per PFF.

PFF projects Arden Key to sign a deal for two years, $18.5 million ($9.25M per year) with $11.5 million total guaranteed. He is an efficient pass rusher, leading the Jaguars in a number of pass rushing metrics despite playing mostly as a rotational player. Spotrac has a market value of two years and $22.7 million for Key. Both of those figures are more than palatable for me.

The Falcons have to add to the defensive front, and though Arden Key isn’t an elite pass rusher, he’s more than capable of contributing in a big way.

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire


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