Updated May 18, 2020 - 1:38 pm
The Raiders officially agreed to a contract with veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara on Monday.
The former 2011 first-round pick of the New York Giants brings a wealth of experience to the Raiders’ young cornerback room and could start opposite second-year cornerback Trayvon Mullen until rookie Damon Arnette is ready.
To make room on the roster for Amukamara, the Raiders released cornerback Nick Nelson.
Arnette, whom the Raiders selected 19th overall in last month’s NFL draft, is their future starter. But with COVID-19 forcing an extreme cutdown of the offseason program and potentially affecting training camp, the Raiders needed to add an insurance policy at cornerback.
Amukamara was cut by the Chicago Bears in late February, with salary cap implications playing a big part in his release. In his three seasons in Chicago, Amukamara had three interceptions and 29 pass breakups. He has 10 interceptions over a nine-year career in which he also has played for the Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars.
He joins a promising, young cornerback room. Mullen, a second-round pick in 2019, started 10 games as a rookie and emerged as a standout over the last half of the season. Isaiah Johnson, a rookie fourth-round pick last year, missed most of the season after suffering a fractured face in the first preseason game. He was also slowed by a back injury that required minor offseason surgery.
Johnson is now healthy, and the Raiders remain high on the second-year player.
They also added Arnette and corner Amik Robertson, a fourth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech. Both players are expected to compete for playing time, if not a starting job, as rookies.
Amukamara, slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and veteran reserve Nevin Lawson are the only returning cornerbacks with extensive experience, with 210 starts among them. At a position high on potential but low on experience, their presence creates a stabilizing effect.