Damon Arnette may have been a surprising pick for the Raiders in 2020, but he is surprising even more with his play this summer.
Signed back in May, veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara was brought in challenge for the starting cornerback job opposite Trayvon Mullen for the Las Vegas Raiders. This summer, he had been battling it out with rookie Damon Arnette for the spot, though Arnette has looked much better than advertised.
On Monday, Amukamara saw his run with the Raiders come to an end, as he was released by the team. NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero tweeted this out, with sources telling both him and Mike Garafolo:
The release of Amukamara could mean that it is already Arnette Time in Las Vegas, and after being a bit of a surprising first round pick, that can only mean good things for this franchise.
Arnette to start opposite Mullen?
The coaching staff has been high on Arnette since drafting him, stating that his tape blew them away prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. While teammate Jeffrey Okudah got most of the pre-draft buzz, even going to the Detroit Lions at No. 3 overall, Arnette has come in and could actually become a starter before Okudah does.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson tweeted this out after talking with Amukamara.
Last year, the Raiders saw clear indication that Trayvon Mullen was a legitimate CB1, and the task set before them was to make the position group better alongside him. While Amukamara is a solid veteran, it is possible the team saw enough in Arnette to decide the time was now to get him into the starting lineup.
The fact that Arnette is stepping up this summer is huge for the Raiders, who have had serious issues at the cornerback position for quite some time. The goal was to build around young cornerstones like Johnathan Abram and Mullen in the secondary this offseason, and they just may have hit it big with Arnette.