HENDERSON, Nev. — The Las Vegas Raiders have waived second-year cornerback Damon Arnette, a first-round pick in 2020, after video surfaced this weekend of Arnette making death threats while brandishing firearms.
Arnette, 25, had been on injured reserve since Oct. 9. He was also facing lawsuits stemming from a Las Vegas car accident last October.
“Very painful decision,” said Raiders general manager Mike Mayock in a conference call. “We spent significant time, effort and resources trying to help him in all aspects of his life.
“We cannot stand for the video of Damon with a gun, threatening to take a life … he cleans up his life, he can make a living in the NFL. But not now, with the Raiders.”
A surprise selection at No. 19 overall out of Ohio State, Arnette played in just 13 games, with seven starts, since the start of last season and had three total passes defended and 29 tackles, 23 solo.
Mayock acknowledged there was “significant concern” over Arnette’s character coming out of college, but the Raiders felt they could help him on and off the field. Mayock said the risk was “acceptable” but, “obviously, we missed. That is 100% on me.”
The Raiders last week released receiver Henry Ruggs III in the wake of his deadly car crash that claimed the life of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog and has Ruggs facing felony DUI resulting in death and reckless driving charges that carry a possible sentence of 46 years in prison.
Ruggs and Arnette were the Raiders’ two first-round picks in 2020.
They also had three third-round selections in running back Lynn Bowden Jr., who was traded away before the 2020 season began, receiver Bryan Edwards, who is a starter but had no catches on four targets Sunday in Las Vegas’ 23-16 loss at the New York Giants, and linebacker Tanner Muse, who spent his rookie season on IR and was waived before this season.