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Las Vegas Raiders release 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are releasing cornerback Damon Arnette, parting ways with the 2020 first-round pick less than two years after drafting him.

Arnette, selected No. 19 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, quickly fell out of favor in Las Vegas. He struggled in his rookie season, receiving a 37.5 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus, allowing a 129.2 passer rating in coverage when targeted by opposing quarterbacks.

He showed no signs of improvement in his second season, barely seeing the field in the first four games. He hasn’t played a single snap on defense or special teams since Week 4.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero first reported the news of Arnette’s release. As noted by Ian Rapoport, the Raiders’ decision is influenced by the young cornerback’s off-field issues.

Days after the fatal car crash involving former Raiders’ wide receiver Henry Ruggs, NBC News 3 in Las Vegas reported that Arnette was the subject of a lawsuit for an alleged hit-and-run in 2020, with the suit claiming that Arnette crashed into a vehicle on Oct. 14, 2020 and caused serious injuries.

Made aware of the lawsuit this past week, Arnette drew more unwanted headlines over the weekend. A video emerged on social media, showing Arnette waving a gun around and threatening to kill someone.

Following the latest incident, with no on-field production to warrant keeping him on the roster, Las Vegas is moving on from Arnette. The top three picks from the Raiders’ 2020 draft class (Henry Ruggs III, Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden Jr.) are no longer on the team.

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