Damarious Randall Signs One-Year Deal With Las Vegas Raiders
Former Cleveland Browns safety Damarious Randall has signed a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, effectively completely a swap between the Browns and the Raiders, since the Browns had signed former Raiders safety Karl Joseph earlier in free agency. First reported by Josina Anderson of ESPN, Randall goes to the Raiders after playing two seasons with the Browns after being acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Packers for quarterback DeShone Kizer.
The trade was a successful one for the Browns as Randall stabilized the safety position in 2018 while also allowing Jabrill Peppers to move to strong safety, a far more natural position for him. Peppers and Randall loudly embraced the notion from former defensive coordinator and interim head coach Gregg Williams of fighting for and demanding respect.
Randall will always be remembered for one iconic moment in Cleveland. After Hue Jackson was fired as head coach of the team, he went to work for Marvin Lewis to finish out the season. The Browns played the Bengals with Jackson on the sideline and Randall was able to intercept an Andy Dalton pass and ended up on the sideline of the Bengals, handing the ball to Jackson. For both players and fans who didn't like Jackson, it proved a cathartic experience and instantly made Randall a legend in Cleveland.
Entering the final year of his rookie deal, on a fifth year option, the Browns and Randall broached the subject of a contract extension. Randall was unsatisfied with the offer and that appeared to carry over to the field. He was not nearly as effective in 2019. After playing much of 2018 through pain and nagging injuries, which only helped to have fans embrace him, he struggled to stay on the field in 2019.
When he was on the field, he didn't appear to be as engaged at times, looking checked out in terms of his effort. It culminated in a situation where the Browns grounded Randall, not taking him to their road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. All the goodwill he had built in 2018 was squandered in 2019 and both the Browns and Randall got to a point where they were just waiting to be rid of each other.
This deal with the Raiders appears to an attempt to rebuild his value, so he can try to cash in the way he hoped to after 2018. The Raiders may get the best of him as he tends to play his best when he feels like he's playing for something. The Browns signed Andrew Sendejo to play free safety this season in Randall's stead.