The Las Vegas Raiders are releasing 2020 first-round draft pick Damon Arnette, who is currently being scrutinized by the NFL’s league office after a video surfaced on TikTok allegedly showing the cornerback making threats against an unnamed man as Arnette wielded what appeared to be firearms.
A league source said the NFL has been looking into the video, which surfaced on social media Nov. 5, and could take disciplinary steps against Arnette under the league’s personal conduct policy.
The Raiders moved to release Arnette on Monday, just over 18 months after the team selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Arnette becomes the second first-round pick to be released from Las Vegas in that draft, joining Henry Ruggs III, who was cut last week. Ruggs III was released following an auto accident on Nov. 2, in which the wideout allegedly struck a vehicle and killed a woman and her dog while driving his Corvette through a Las Vegas suburb at 156 miles per hour with a blood-alcohol content that was allegedly twice the legal limit. Ruggs III has been charged with multiple felonies related to the incident and could be facing as much as 40 years in prison if convicted.
The video that surfaced of Arnette has not been his lone incident off the field since he was drafted. Deadspin detailed a pair of civil lawsuits he’s currently facing in Las Vegas. In one, Arenette is accused of fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident in October of 2020, in which he allegedly struck a car with a female occupant at over 65 miles per hour as the Raiders player was attempting to make a meeting at the team’s facility. In that suit, Arnette and the Raiders are named as defendants. The lawsuit seeks payment for the woman’s medical bills as well as damages and legal fees. In a second civil lawsuit, Arnette is being sued by a valet worker at a Las Vegas casino, stemming for an alleged altercation where the player is accused of spitting on the employee and poking him in the chest.
Arnette’s release punctuates a disastrous 2020 draft for the Raiders who have already released or traded four of their top five picks from that year, including two first-round and two third-round selections.