Raiders release safety Damarious Randall after giving him $1.5M guaranteed

HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Las Vegas Raiders have parted ways with veteran safety Damarious Randall, five months after signing him to a one-year, $1.5 million fully guaranteed contract, in a move that continues a youth movement in their secondary.

Randall, 28, came to the Raiders in the second wave of free agency, on April 7, and was expected to start at safety opposite second-year player Johnathan Abram. But a logjam at the position made Randall expendable.

The Raiders also signed Jeff Heath in the offseason to join returning safeties Erik Harris, Dallin Leavitt and Lamarcus Joyner, who mostly plays in the slot but could concentrate more on free safety with rookie Amik Robertson at nickelback.

The Raiders are expected to start a rookie and a second-year player at cornerback in first-round pick Damon Arnette, who is nursing a thumb injury, and Trayvon Mullen, respectively. And Abram played just one game last season before going out with a shoulder injury.

Only twice before in franchise history have the Raiders had two defensive backs with so little NFL experience start at least half of the team's games: cornerback Fabian Washington and safety Stuart Schweigert in 2005, and Washington and safety Michael Huff in 2006, according to The Associated Press.

Randall, a first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2015 who played the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, has 14 interceptions, 2.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 290 tackles in 65 career games (56 starts).

"I pride myself on making my teammates better, and that's the one, one thing I've been working on since I've been here," Randall said early in training camp. "Since I actually came in the offseason and just kind of started training early with Abram, with Trayvon Mullen, with Keisean Nixon -- just kind of those guys, starting to jell with the guys that I'm going to be out there with.

"I mean, this defense kind of needed a guy in the middle of the field that could roam sideline to sideline, making plays, and I feel like I can bring that to this defense."

NFL Network first reported Randall's release.