The Raiders weren't content to purge just one big-name prospect from their 2022 roster on Tuesday. After waiving 2021 first-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood, the team has also traded former starting cornerback Trayvon Mullen to the Cardinals, just three years after spending a 40th overall pick on the Clemson product. In return, per NFL Media, Las Vegas gets a 2023 conditional seventh-round pick, which can become a sixth-rounder depending on performance.
The trade, which the Cardinals later announced, likely gives Arizona a new starting cover man while further ridding the Raiders of some of former general manager Mike Mayock's top investments. Mullen, who turns 25 a day before the Cardinals' season opener, would've been outright released if not for the move, according to Ian Rapoport.
The veteran was limited to five games in 2021 due to a toe injury, and he opened training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list with a separate, undisclosed ailment. But he started 31 games in three years for the Raiders, and was on pace for potentially career-high numbers before going down last fall. Mullen seemed to be emerging as a building block for Las Vegas in 2020, when he logged 64 tackles, two interceptions and 14 pass deflections in 16 starts.
Now entering a contract year, Mullen figures to step into Arizona as a starter opposite Byron Murphy Jr., who was drafted seven spots ahead of him in 2019. The Cardinals had been lacking cornerback depth behind Murphy, and 2021 fourth-rounder Marco Wilson was tentatively set to open this season as a full-time starter.
The Raiders, meanwhile, added a pair of veterans to their own cornerback room this offseason in Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett. The former, who spent the first three years of his career with the Colts, is set to start opposite Nate Hobbs under new coach Josh McDaniels.