Trayvon Mullen

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/23/23

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

Mullen was a second-round pick by the Raiders back in 2019. Despite starting 31 of his 37 appearances through his first three seasons in the NFL, he was traded to the Cardinals for a seventh-round pick prior to the 2022 campaign. He got into eight games for Arizona before getting waived, and he caught on with the Cowboys in December. The 25-year-old won’t officially join Baltimore until the day after the Super Bowl (February 13).

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/21/23

Minor moves and standard gameday elevations for the final two games of the divisional round:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers

Cowboys Claim CB Trayvon Mullen

DECEMBER 14: The Cowboys have claimed Mullen off waivers, per Garafolo (Twitter link). Dallas has been dealing with multiple injuries at the position, including the Achilles tear recently suffered by Anthony Brown. That has let the team in search of depth options late in the campaign.

The most recent example of that was the practice squad deal signed by veteran Mackensie Alexander last week. Mullen will likewise get an opportunity play at least a rotational role during Dallas’ closing games of the regular season and, presumably, the playoffs, aiming to rebuild some of his value along the way.

DECEMBER 13: A full-time starter during much of his Raiders run, Trayvon Mullen could not secure a first-string spot with the Cardinals. The team will move on from the fourth-year cornerback, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

Arizona sent a conditional draft choice to Las Vegas for Mullen on cutdown day in August. Had Mullen been active for 10 games, the pick would have become a 2023 sixth-rounder. Because the former second-rounder only suited up for eight, the pick will be a seventh.

Still, this represents a disappointing development for both the Cardinals and Mullen. The Clemson product had started 31 games during his three Raiders seasons. Although he played a season-high 42 defensive snaps Monday night, the Cards are still moving on. Mullen only surpassed 30 defensive snaps in one game — the loss to the Patriots.

In limited work, Mullen allowed a career-high 12.1 yards per target and a staggering 156.7 quarterback rating as the closest defender in coverage this season. A Cardinals team that spent much of the offseason in need at corner traded for Mullen just as it was finalizing its initial 53-man roster, but the Raiders’ new regime was planning to cut him. That led to the low-end compensation for a player who was a full-time starter during Jon Gruden‘s time with the Raiders.

The 40th overall pick in 2019, Mullen landed on IR twice last season. Foot trouble led to both stints, and Mullen underwent foot surgery during the spring. He began the Raiders’ training camp on their active/PUP list and did not begin practicing until mid-August. Mullen did not make his Cardinals debut until Week 3 of this season. Arizona has used Marco Wilson and journeyman Antonio Hamilton ahead of Mullen alongside Byron Murphy this season.

Mullen joins Alex Leatherwood and Johnathan Abram as highly drafted players from the Raiders’ Gruden-Mike Mayock era to be waived this year. Both Leatherwood and Abram are still tied to their rookie deals, via waiver claims (two in Abram’s case). Mullen will hit free agency if he is not claimed by Wednesday afternoon.

Cardinals Missing Three Starters For Opener With Chiefs

Not only will Arizona’s talent be tested early with a Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs, but their depth will be tested, as well, with three starters expected to miss the season opener, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The team’s injury report leading up to the first game of the season shows wide receiver Rondale Moore, right guard Cody Ford, and cornerback Trayvon Mullen‘s game statuses as “out.” 

Moore is a circumstantial starter to begin with, as DeAndre Hopkins starts the season with a six-game suspension. As a rookie last year, Moore was third on the team in receptions (54) and fifth on the team in receiving yards (435), numbers good enough to earn him the starting role during Hopkins’ absence. Unfortunately, though, Moore suffered a hamstring injury in practice yesterday that was described as “serious.” No official announcement has been made regarding an MRI that Moore took to determine the severity of the injury, but, regardless, a Week 1 absence was the very least of what was expected. With Moore out, Andy Isabella and Greg Dortch will get plenty of snaps as the only two healthy receivers remaining on the roster behind starters Marquise Brown and A.J. Green.

Ford is a former second-round pick for the Bills who slowly fell out of favor with the Bills last season and was traded to Arizona in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Ford had started 15 games, alternating time at guard and tackle. He entered 2020 as the team’s starting right guard and switched over to left guard after three games. After 11 weeks of play, Ford suffered a torn meniscus in practice and spent the remainder of the season on injured reserve. He returned as the starter at right guard to start 2021 but, after some early season struggles, was benched and made a few spot starts in backup duty for the remainder of the year. Ford’s regular season debut as a Cardinal will have to wait as an ankle injury will force Arizona to likely start Justin Pugh in his place.

As another offseason trade acquisition, Mullen’s debut in red and white will have to wait, as well. Mullen was reportedly in danger of being waived in Las Vegas and the Cardinals threw the Raiders a line, offering up a seventh-round pick in exchange for the fourth-year cornerback. One desert team’s loss was another desert team’s gain as the Cardinals slotted Mullen in as their starter opposite Marco Wilson. Mullen had returned to practice in August after ending the season with a toe injury and getting offseason surgery, but the injury appears to have lingered. Mullen hasn’t practiced all week and will miss the season opening matchup with his former division rival. In Mullen’s absence, Arizona will rely on Byron Murphy to start opposite Wilson.

Last year saw the Cardinals jump out to an undefeated, 7-0 start before finishing the season on a 4-6 stretch to limp into the playoffs as a wild card team. The undefeated start to the 2022 season was going to be hard enough with a Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs. The absence of three starters will make things just a touch more challenging.

Raiders To Send CB Trayvon Mullen To Cardinals

High-round Jon Gruden-era Raiders picks continue to fly off the now-Josh McDaniels-led team’s roster. Former second-rounder Trayvon Mullen is following Alex Leatherwood out the door.

The fourth-year cornerback is heading to the Cardinals, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. One season remains on Mullen’s rookie contract. This helps a corner-needy Cardinals squad while also leading yet another early recent Raiders pick off their roster.

This move saved Mullen from being waived, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who adds the Cardinals will send the Raiders a conditional seventh-round pick (Twitter link). The pick could bump to sixth-round value depending on Mullen’s playing time. The Cardinals have now acquired three first- or second-round picks from the 2019 draft this year, adding Marquise Brown (Round 1) in April and Cody Ford (Round 2) earlier this month.

The No. 40 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Mullen was traded minutes after the No. 40 pick in 2020 (Ross Blacklock) was dealt. Unlike the former Texans second-round choice, Mullen had been a regular starter with the team that drafted him. The Clemson product started 31 games with the Raiders, including all 16 during the 2020 season.

For the Cardinals, this could be a valuable move. They have been in need at the corner position for a while. Arizona’s agreement with former first-round pick Jeff Gladney preceded the ex-Viking dying tragically in a May car accident. While Kliff Kingsbury indicated in June the Cards would look at veteran corners, only Josh Jackson arrived as a notable investment. The Cards cut Jackson on Monday but were still rumored to be searching at the position. Mullen represents a starter-caliber option alongside Byron Murphy.

Mullen, however, is coming off an injury-plagued stretch. A foot injury limited him to five games last season, and that issue required a procedure in May. That surgery led to Mullen missing the start of Las Vegas’ training camp. The Cardinals will bet on Mullen staying healthy in his contract year. Although Pro Football Focus has never viewed Mullen as an upper-crust corner, Arizona is limited on options here. It would not surprise if the team was not done tinkering at this spot.

As for Vegas, the team has now moved on from primary starters Mullen and Casey Hayward this year. Hayward signed with the Falcons in free agency. The Raiders did acquire Rock Ya-Sin in the Yannick Ngakoue trade and have emerging slot player Nate Hobbs under contract for three more seasons. The team also signed former Baltimore corner Anthony Averett this offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/17/22

After yesterday’s deadline dump, there are plenty of new names available to be plucked out of free agency. Here’s today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Waived: LB Jesse Lemonier

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: WR KeeSean Johnson
  • Waived: WR Tyshaun James
  • Waived (injury settlement): DL Bryce Rodgers

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Placed on IR: OT Jonathan Hubbard

Tennessee Titans

Raiders Place Three Defenders On PUP

A trio of Raiders defenders landed on the Physically Unable to Perform List today. The team announced that defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, cornerback Trayvon Mullen Jr., and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols were all placed on PUP.

It’s uncertain what ailments the two defensive linemen are dealing with, but Mullen underwent foot surgery back in May, so it was always unlikely that he’d be ready to go for the start of training camp. If any of the players remain on PUP past August 23, they’ll be forced to miss the Raiders’ first four games of the 2022 season (a change from last year’s six-game rule).

The Raiders traded for Rock Ya-Sin and signed Anthony Averett earlier this offseaosn, so Mullen’s delayed start could cost him a starting gig. The former second-round pick has spent his entire three-year career with the Raiders, starting 31 of his 37 games. After starting all 16 games in 2020, the 24-year-old started each of his five games for the Raiders in 2021, finishing with 20 tackles, one interception, and four passes defended. He had two stints on the IR during the 2021 campaign.

Hankins and Nichols both missed a chunk of OTAs, but at the time, it was assumed the defensive tackles were healthy scratches. Instead, the two veterans will be limited to start training camp. Hankins started 14 games for the Raiders last season, collecting 38 tackles. Nichols signed a two-year deal with the Raiders this past offseason after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Bears. With the duo sidelined to start training camp, rookies like Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler could have a chance for extra reps.

The Raiders also announced that they’ve signed wide receiver Isaiah Zuber. The receiver spent the 2021 campaign on the 49ers, Browns, and Jets practice squads. He’s seen time in four career games, totaling 50 yards from scrimmage on four touches.

AFC West Notes: Reed, Raiders, Chargers

With Bradley Chubb and Von Miller suffering injuries at various points from 2019-21, the Broncos could rarely deploy their ideal edge-rushing combination. That led to extensive Malik Reed work. The 2019 UDFA has made 34 starts over the past three seasons and racked up 13 sacks over the past two. However, the Broncos have since signed Randy Gregory, drafted Nik Bonitto in Round 2 and moved 2021 inside linebacker starter Baron Browning to the edge. This creates a crowded depth chart, which features Chubb in his fifth-year option season. Reed is also going into a contract year, and ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold’s 53-man roster prediction leaves the Nevada product off the team. Reed’s status could depend on Gregory’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, per Legwold, with the Broncos potentially going with a special-teamer over Reed if Gregory is healthy. If the Broncos determine Reed is not on track to make their team, he would be a logical trade candidate. Reed is attached to a $2.43MM salary.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Raiders were active at defensive tackle this offseason. They re-signed Johnathan Hankins and brought in free agents Vernon Butler, Andrew Billings, Tyler Lancaster, Kyle Peko and Bilal Nichols. The team also used fourth- and fifth-round picks (Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler) on interior D-linemen. Of this group, Nichols projects as a starter, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed note (subscription required). Hankins, who has been a Raiders first-stringer for the past four seasons, should be ticketed to keep his starter gig under new DC Patrick Graham. Among the host of veterans brought in as free agents, Nichols’ contract (two years, $11MM) would point to him having the clearest starter path. The Raiders have been linked to Ndamukong Suh, but they might not be especially interested in signing him right now.
  • Despite the Raiders changing defensive schemes and letting Casey Hayward defect to the Falcons in free agency, they are unlikely to tinker with Nate Hobbs‘ job. The second-year cornerback practiced exclusively in the slot during Las Vegas’ offseason program and will still expected to be the team’s slot defender, per Tafur and Reed. Coming into the league as a fifth-round pick, Hobbs graded as a top-10 corner as a rookie, per Pro Football Focus. Trade acquisition Rock Ya-Sin and free agent signing Anthony Averett worked as Vegas’ slot corners this summer, with starter Trayvon Mullen on the mend after a May foot surgery. Mullen missed 12 games last season, with foot trouble at the root of the absence. The recent surgery makes Mullen’s status something to monitor during camp.
  • The Chargers have taken an aggressive approach to filling offensive line needs over the past two offseasons. They gave Corey Linsley a then-record center contract and also signed guard Matt Feiler. Those moves came before the Bolts drafted Rashawn Slater in Round 1. They selected Zion Johnson in this year’s first round, and he is expected to start at right guard. That leaves right tackle vacant, with 2020’s Bryan Bulaga signing not panning out. The Bolts used Storm Norton as their primary 2021 starter, but Trey Pipkins started a game apiece at left and right tackle — due to the starters’ COVID-19 contractions — last year. Those two starts elevated the former third-round pick’s status in the Chargers building, Daniel Popper of The Athletic notes. Pipkins’ progress will be put to the test when he battles Norton for the right tackle gig in camp.

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/20/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Promoted: OL Jacob Capra

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Washington Football Team

  • Promoted: OT Sam Cosmi

Raiders Activate CB Mullen From IR

Trayvon Mullen is primed for a return to action as the Raiders have announced that he’s been activated from injured reserve today. Las Vegas had designated the former second-round pick to return from injured reserve a little over a week ago.

Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia had made a statement saying, “[Mullen] wants to be in a position where he feels like he’s ready to go and he’s not at 70 percent or 80 percent,” so Mullen’s activation should indicate a return to full health for the Raiders’ starting cornerback.

While the Raiders will certainly be happy to have a bit more depth to a cornerback room that was looking fairly slim with Mullen injured and Damon Arnette‘s release, Mullen’s absence has allowed Las Vegas to test out some of the corners they had available. Even after losing Mullen and Arnette after only four games, the Raiders knew they had experience in ten-year veteran Casey Hayward and liked what they saw in rookie fifth-round pick Nate Hobbs. They did take action, reaching out to sign Hayward’s former teammate, Brandon Facyson, off the Chargers’ practice squad to help fill out the room. The signing has paid off as they’ve seen Facyson start their last six games as Hobbs continues to develop as a pro.

Adding Mullen to the mix strengthens an already impressive position group for the Raiders’ defense. Mullen’s activation was joined by defensive tackle Darius Philon‘s activation off injured reserve. Las Vegas also announced the signing of linebacker Will Compton to the active roster and the release of defensive tackle Damion Square. From the practice squad wide receiver Tyron Johnson, linebacker Javin White, and running back Trey Ragas have been called up for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.