The 2020 first-round pick had been on injured reserve since Oct. 9 and ends his time with Las Vegas having appeared in just 13 games with seven starts. The news comes after the Raiders also waived their other 2020 first-round pick, Henry Ruggs, after an alleged high-speed, DUI collision that killed a 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog.
On Monday, Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock told reporters the decision to waive Arnette was “very painful.”
“We cannot stand for the video of Damon with a gun threatening to take a life,” Mayock said, via Cassie Soto of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Bottom line, the Raiders will not tolerate this behavior.”
Mayock noted that there were character concerns about Arnette when he was entering the league, saying the club spent significant time trying to understand his behavior. But when drafting him, the Raiders felt like they would be a good fit for the young corner. Mayock said he’s sick to his stomach about Arnette.
“We did more research on Arnette than anybody else since I have been here and we missed,” Mayock said, via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com. “And that is 100 percent on me.”
By cutting Arnette, the Raiders have now let go of four of their top five picks from the 2020 draft — each of whom were selected in the first or third round. Lynn Bowden was traded to the Dolphins at the end of his rookie training camp. And linebacker Tanner Muse was waived at the end of this year’s training camp. Neither Bowden nor Muse ever played a snap for Las Vegas.
“I think in ’19 and ’21 we’ve done a heck of a job … we’re going to be consistent with that,” Mayock said, via Soto. “It’s just as important to me that these guys are good in the community as well as good football players.”
But frankly, Mayock may not get that chance with another draft class. Though Rich Bisaccia is 2-1 as the Raiders’ interim coach, there’s a lot to be determined about how owner Mark Davis will shape the franchise following Jon Gruden’s resignation. Mayock currently has control of roster decisions, but that could easily change if Davis wants to hire a big-name coach who brings in his own G.M.
The best argument for Mayock will be if the Raiders continue to win. Now at 5-3, Las Vegas will host Kansas City for Sunday Night Football in Week 10.