Chiefs Sign Troubled Ex-Raiders First-Rounder to Futures Deal

damon arnette

Getty Former Raiders CB Damon Arnette.

The Kansas City Chiefs‘ latest signee to a reserve/futures contract might be the team’s most interesting one.

On January 20, Kansas City signed former Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette to a futures deal, according to the NFL’s transaction report.

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Arnette, a first-round pick of the Raiders in 2020, was one of several distractions Las Vegas dealt with during the 2021 season.

On October 5, Arnette was sued in Clark County (Nevada) District Court by a woman who said Arnette’s car hit hers and injured her on October 14, 2020, at an intersection near the Raiders’ Las Vegas headquarters, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

TMZ Sports first reported about the lawsuit on November 5. On the following day, November 6, a video of Arnette brandishing a gun circulated on social media. In the video, Arnette appears to threaten to kill an unidentified person.

On November 8, the Raiders released Arnette.

Arnette played in four games for the Raiders in 2021, recording four tackles and one pass defended, according to Pro Football Reference.

By signing Arnette to a reserve/futures contract, the Chiefs have exclusive rights to Arnette but do not have to count his contract, as it relates to the team’s salary cap, until March 16, the first day of the 2022 league year.


Mayock on Arnette’s Release

Following Arnette’s release, general manager Mike Mayock – who was fired on January 17 after three seasons – spoke about Arnette’s situation.

“Today we waived Damon Arnette,” Mayock said during a media conference on November 8. “Very painful decision. We spent significant time, effort, and resources trying to help him in all facets of his life. There have been a series of bad decisions over the last year or so, but we can’t stand, we cannot stand the video of Damon with a gun threatening to take a life. The content was unacceptable, contrary to our values, and our owner, Mark Davis, has been very clear and very consistent that this is not how we will conduct ourselves in this community. The bottom line: The Raiders will not tolerate this type of behavior.

“On a personal note, I’ve talked to Damon, his dad, a couple of others in his life. From my perspective, he’s a very talented young man with a good heart. [If] he cleans up his life, I know he can make a living in the NFL. But not now with the Raiders.”

Bringing in players like Arnette, who have disrupted the culture in Las Vegas, is one of the main reasons Mayock was relieved of his duties as the Raiders GM.


Chiefs’ Complete List of Futures Signings

After the regular season ends, NFL teams are allowed to sign free agents to futures deals, which locks those players up for the 2022-23 NFL season without hitting the team’s prior league year cap space. The Chiefs took full advantage of this opportunity prior to their playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kansas City has now signed nine players to futures deals: Arnette, wide receivers Omar Bayless, Mathew Sexton, Gary Jennings, and Chris Finke, tight end Jordan Franks, running back Brenden Knox, and defensive tackles Lorenzo Neal and Darius Stills.

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