It hasn’t taken general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels long to move on from players who were on the Las Vegas Raiders before they arrived. The two have shown little interest in retaining failed draft picks from the previous regime. Cornerback Trayvon Mullen was one of the first casualties as he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals before the start of the season.
The 2019 second-round pick started 31 games for the Raiders over his first three seasons and was expected to be one of the starting cornerbacks for the team this season. He struggled with injuries with the Cardinals and was eventually cut before landing with the Dallas Cowboys. However, the Cowboys cut him prior to their Divisional Round playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Luckily for Mullen, he was able to land with a team quickly. The Baltimore Ravens claimed the cornerback off of waivers.
Considering the season is over for Baltimore, Mullen should spend most of the offseason with the team. The Ravens could lose Marcus Peters in free agency and need more cornerback depth. Mullen hasn’t lived up to his status as a second-round pick but if he can stay healthy, he can still be a solid player.
Mullen Is Cousins With Lamar Jackson
While Mullen still has upside as a cornerback, which is why he hasn’t been able to hit free agency yet, the Ravens likely had an ulterior motive in signing him. Mullen is cousins with star quarterback Lamar Jackson. The two grew up together in Florida and have a close relationship.
When the Raiders played the Ravens in Week 1 of the 2021 season, Jackson and Mullen did a jersey swap.
This is notable due to the fact that Jackson is on an expiring contract. He’s set to be a free agent in March unless the Ravens use the franchise tag on him, which is likely. The team could also agree on a long-term contract but that has proven to be difficult. Signing Jackson’s family member could be an olive branch to the quarterback. It’s an interesting signing and there’s no doubt they’d be excited about playing with each other on an NFL field. That said, it remains to be seen if it’s a strategy that will work.
Raiders Head Into Offseason With Major CB Need
It was a bit odd when the Raiders traded Mullen as they weren’t a team that was deep at cornerback. Early in the season, Anthony Averett was placed on Injured Reserve and the team struggled in pass defense. Las Vegas allowed 242.9 passing yards a game, which was the fourth most in the NFL. Rock Ya-Sin was the team’s best cornerback but he’s a free agent.
Cornerback is a position the Raiders should address heavily this offseason. Finding a clear-cut No. 1 cornerback would be huge. Perhaps they could look to trade for a big name like Jalen Ramsey or sign a free agent like James Bradberry. The team would also be wise to address the position in the draft. The Raiders have been bad at cornerback for a long time and have tried to address the position in the draft but have failed. They may need to go after a few sure things this offseason so that they don’t risk drafting another bust.