Amik Robertson

Raiders Place CB Damon Arnette On IR

After aggravating a previous thumb injury in Week 3, Damon Arnette will see his rookie season paused for a while. The Raiders placed the first-round cornerback on IR.

Arnette initially broke his thumb during training camp but landed on it awkwardly against the Patriots last week. As a result, the Raiders will be without a key defensive piece for a while. Arnette underwent thumb surgery this week and will be out at least six weeks.

The suddenly potent Bills passing offense will face a Raiders team ranking 31st in defensive DVOA, though the unit sits 18th in DVOA against the pass through three weeks. The Raiders may also be down rookie cornerback Amik Robertson, who is questionable with a non-coronavirus illness. Arnette has started each of the Raiders’ games this season.

Las Vegas looks also set to be without its other 2020 first-rounder against Buffalo. The Raiders listed Henry Ruggs as doubtful to face the Bills. Ruggs is battling knee and hamstring injuries.

Additionally, the Raiders promoted safety Dallin Leavitt from their practice squad and placed defensive tackle Daniel Ross on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Sign Damon Arnette, Wrap Draft Class

The Raiders have wrapped up their 2020 NFL Draft class. Following their reported agreement with first-round wide receiver Henry Ruggs, the Raiders formally announced deals for the rest of the class. Here’s the full rundown, via PFR’s tracker: 

1-12: Henry Ruggs III, WR (Alabama): Signed
1-19: Damon Arnette, CB (Ohio State): Signed
3-80: Lynn Bowden Jr., WR (Kentucky): Signed
3-81: Bryan Edwards, WR (South Carolina): Signed
3-100: Tanner Muse, LB (Clemson): Signed
4-109: John Simpson, OL (Clemson): Signed
4-139: Amik Robertson, CB (Louisiana Tech): Signed

Per the terms of his slot, Arnette will receive a four-year deal worth $13.4MM, including a signing bonus of ~$7.3MM. Beyond that, the Raiders will hold a fifth-year option to keep him under club control through the 2024 season. Arnette wasn’t expected to go in the middle of the first round, but the Raiders aren’t afraid to buck conventional thought.

Arnette took a while to develop and reach Ohio State’s starting lineup, but once he got there, he provided the Buckeyes with a solid partner opposite star Jeff Okudah. With the ability to play on the inside or the outside, the Raiders believe that Arnette has what it takes to make it at the next level. His 4.56 second 40-yard-dash didn’t necessarily impress evaluators, but his ability to jam receivers at the line is a major plus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: CBA, Marijuana, Draft

While CBA negotiations have been on the January schedule for a while, the NFL and NFLPA have already resumed talks. The sides convened for negotiations last week, Judy Battista of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), adding the goal remains to have a new agreement finalized by season’s end. The NFL initially sought to have this done before Week 1, an unrealistic scenario since the current CBA does not expire until March 2021, and has since inserted a 17-game season into the talks.

Roger Goodell said he and the owners discussed the CBA for roughly an hour at this week’s league meetings, but the 13th-year commissioner is uncertain how far apart the owners and players are. Should a deal not be completed by March, new elections of an NFLPA president and new members on the union’s executive committee could change the tenor of the months-long negotiations, per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Shortly after Major League Baseball announced marijuana will not be on its banned substances list, Jerry Jones said the NFL will likely further amend its policy, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The league has already shown leniency on this front, years ago raising the threshold for what results in a marijuana-based suspension. Owners are reportedly ready to make marijuana a bargaining chip in exchange for the players’ side agreeing to an extra regular-season game. Jones has said in the past he’s in favor of marijuana not residing on the NFL’s banned substances list.
  • Two running backs will skip their final collegiate seasons to enter the draft. Boston College’s A.J. Dillon and Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill announced they will enter the 2020 draft pool. At 250 pounds and with 13 career receptions, Dillon profiles as an old-school back. Boston College’s all-time leading rusher gained 4,382 yards (5.2 per carry) and, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, is expected to time in the 4.4-second range in the 40-yard dash. The 215-pound Hill did not fare nearly as well in college but will enter the draft on the heels of his lone 1,000-yard season — a 1,347-yard, 10-touchdown slate — and do so with only 430 college carries under his belt. Hill will play in the Bulldogs’ bowl game; Dillon will skip the Eagles’ postseason tilt.
  • Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson will join the backs in declaring early, Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network tweets. An All-American this season, Robertson intercepted five passes and ranked second in passes defensed with 21.