Raiders Cut Their Highest-Graded Defensive Player From the 2020 Season

The Raiders waived defensive end Arden Key and defensive tackle Mo Hurst on Thursday and while it wasn’t a surprise that the team is moving on from Key, the decision to waive Hurst wasn’t expected by many.

Hurst hasn’t been dynamic in his three years with the Raiders (9 career sacks), but he has been arguably the team’s most consistent defensive player. In fact, Hurst has been the Raiders highest-graded defensive player in each of the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus analytics. He was their fourth highest-graded defensive player in his rookie season.

Jon Gruden hasn’t been a huge fan of Pro Football Focus in the past, so it’s probably a safe assumption that he didn’t consider their data on Hurst, either.

For what it’s worth, Sports Illustrated‘s Hondo Carpenter said on Friday that the door hasn’t been shut on Hurst potentially returning to the Raiders, and those odds probably got a little better when he wasn’t claimed by anyone on waivers.

As for the other player released on Thursday, it doesn’t sound like Arden Key is particularly interested in returning to Las Vegas anytime soon – at least not to play for the Raiders. Key posted to Instagram on Friday that his release was “THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ME!”

Kenny King Jr on Twitter: “Arden Key issues a statement on his release.(via IG:// ardenkey) / Twitter”

Arden Key issues a statement on his release.(via IG:// ardenkey)

Assuming they will both find new teams, it will be interesting to see how Hurst and Key perform next year. It wouldn’t be a great look for the Raiders if one or both have a breakout year in 2021 – especially considering how desperate the Raiders have been for pass rushers over the last few years.

twitter: @raidersbeat


2 thoughts on “Raiders Cut Their Highest-Graded Defensive Player From the 2020 Season

  1. It does’nt matter what you do ti this tean.Until you release Derek Carr you will never be a winning team.Derek Carr is a proven looser.How many of us could goto work for 7 straight years and fail,but still have a job.Sounds like alot of kissing *** on Derek Carr part

  2. I bet we resign mo on a league minimum contract…I feel bad for key seems like every time he started flowing he would get injured. I wish him luck . As long as he is out of the AFC west…. go RAIDERS

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