Troubled Ex-Raiders 1st-Round Pick Arrested Again Amid Comeback Attempt

Raiders' Damon Arnette, a 2020 1st-round pick


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Raiders’ Damon Arnette, a 2020 1st-round pick

The Raiders’ first-round pick in 2020, Damon Arnette, picked No. 19 overall out of Ohio State, never had much of an impact in the NFL, released by the team after 13 games over two seasons because his rap sheet of gun issues was too much to overcome. He said last year he was hopeful of making a comeback.

Arnette, though, has been arrested again, NFL media reported, in Texas back on January 6. However, his lawyers say that no charges have yet been filed and that the arrested stemmed from a misunderstanding.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport originally wrote on Twitter/X that among Arnette’s charges were possession of meth and illegally carrying a firearm—but Arnette’s legal representatives disputed that.

Rapoport posted: “A cautionary tale: Ex-#Raiders first-round pick CB Damon Arnette was arrested on Jan. 6 at 3:30 am and charged with possession of less than a gram of meth and unlawful carrying of a firearm, per me and  @HollowayNFLN. The previously unreported arrest was in Richardson, TX.”

But Rapoport then posted a statement from attorneys Jason Lampert and Thomas Wynne which read, in part, “The recent report that he was arrested for possession of methamphetamines and firearms is simply incorrect.”

They went on to explain that Arnette was arrested at 3:30 AM because he could not provide a prescription for a “lawful medication,” and that if had been able to provide the prescription, there would have been no arrest on drug or firearm charges.


Raiders’ Damon Arnette Was a Risky 1st-Round Pick

For Arnette’s sake, hopefully the matter is just a misunderstanding about the prescription issue. He was obviously a talented player who made up a great secondary with the Buckeyes, alongside fellow first-round pick Jeff Okudah, who went No. 3 in that draft to Detroit.

He had five interceptions in four years at Ohio State, and helped the team reach the national championship game for the 2020 season.

Still, using a first-round pick on Arnette was controversial at the time, because most had him slated lower. GM Mike Mayock later admitted there was “significant concern” about Arnette’s character entering the draft.

But then-Raiders coach Jon Gruden had fallen in love with Arnette, saying he was even better than Okudah.

After the draft, Gruden said: “I just look at his tape. I’ve heard people say, ‘He’s not a first-round pick on our board.’ Well, whose board are we talking about? Then if you’re in to analytics, according to ProFootballFocus.com he had the best QB rating against him of any corner in the draft. I mean, he’s a hell of a player.

“That’s why I like him. He played at Ohio State. He played big in big games.”


Seeking ‘Another Chance in the NFL’

Arnette has been trying to get back into the league after his legal issues proved too much for the Raiders, who waived him two years after drafting him. He was involved in a lawsuit after a hit-and-run accident in Las Vegas and there was video that had emerged of him threatening to kill someone while showing off a firearm.

Arnette was briefly signed by the Chiefs after his release from the Raiders, but was again arrested on several charges, including assault, and let go by Kansas City in early 2022. He was arrested again in Florida later that year.

After resolving a gun case with a plea deal in Las Vegas last year, Arnette told reporters, per the AP, “If I’m blessed enough to get another chance in the NFL, then I’m going to kill that. I’ve learned a lot. I’m remorseful about everything. I appreciate and respect another opportunity. I’m a better man than I was.”

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