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Thoughts on impact of Damon Arnette release

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock may be on the hook for this

Seattle Seahawks v Las Vegas Raiders
Damon Arnette, Mike Mayock
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders cut ties with another high draft pick on Monday, by releasing second-year cornerback Damon Arnette because of off-field issues.

Here are some quick thoughts on the situation and what it may mean.

The 2020 draft was a disaster:
The Raiders had five draft picks in the first three rounds in 2020. It was supposed to be a type of draft that positively impacted the franchise for years. In the end, it had the reverse effect.

Last week, the Raiders released No. 12 overall 2020 pick Henry Ruggs III after the wide receiver was arrested for DUI resulting in death in a crash in the early morning Tuesday.

Third-round pick, running back/receiver Lynn Bowden was traded to the Miami Dolphins before playing a game with the Raiders; and third-round pick linebacker Tanner Muse was cut this year without playing a game for the Raiders.

The only players remaining from the 2020 draft 18 months ago are receiver Bryan Edwards, guard John Simpson and cornerback Amik Robertson. Only Edwards and Simpson are currently playing.

This might hurt Mayock’s future:
Last month, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis wouldn’t commit to Mayock for the future. As a fallout of the Jon Gruden departure last month, Davis may completely clean house after this season.

The developments surrounding Ruggs and Arnette could cost Mayock. Gruden isn’t around to pay for it and Mayock was — at the very least — part of the process of drafting them. Both Mayock and Gruden repeatedly publicly congratulated themselves on drafting high character players and now two first-round players are done 18 months after joining the organization because of incidents that occurred in Las Vegas.

Give Mayock credit for owning the Arnette mistake.

Yet, it could end up costing him his job.

Khalil Mack trade:
Another reason why this release stings is that Arnette was drafted with a pick acquired in the Khalil Mack trade with the Chicago Bears. The Mack trade was supposed to be a huge part of Gruden’s rebuild. The Arnette pick ended up being a waste of a major resource.

On-field affect:
This affects the cornerback position more in theory than reality. The truth is, the Raiders knew for a while that Arnette wasn’t helping. He couldn’t keep the starting job and only started seven games as a Raider. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders, once again, look at cornerbacks early in next year’s draft.