Ex-49ers Starting QB Signs with Raiders on ‘Prove It’ Contract

Nick Mullens

Getty Nick Mullens throws a pass as quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers in 2020.

The San Francisco 49ers have seen another one of their former quarterbacks find a new team, this time through the Las Vegas Raiders and Nick Mullens.

Mullens spent four seasons with San Francisco, showing flashes of brilliance in his early days after going undrafted in 2017 after a career with Southern Miss. However, the quarterback has bounced around in the past year or so, and he is now a Raiders player.

The signing was initially reported by NFL media insider Mike Garafolo on April 1, but Las Vegas has since made it official with a press release. Garafolo wrote that it appears as if Mullens is going to be Las Vegas’ preferred backup.

“The #Raiders have agreed to terms with QB Nick Mullens, source says,” Garafolo Tweeted. “Right now, it’s him and Garrett Gilbert behind Derek Carr, so a good shot for him to land a backup gig.”

As Garafolo mentions, the Raiders signed Gilbert on March 19. The former Dallas Cowboys QB will certainly be in the running for the gig, but a closer look at the reported contract for Mullens shows that he’s being paid as if he’s the likely backup for Las Vegas in the 2022 season.

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Mullens’ New Contract with Raiders

After Garafolo reported that Mullens was heading to the Sin City, ESPN insider got the scoop on the contract details for the former 49ers QB. In somewhat typical fashion, Mullens is getting a short-term deal.

“The Raiders are signing QB Nick Mullens to a one-year deal, as @MikeGarafolo said,” Yates Tweeted on April 1. “He gets a little over $1M guaranteed, with the chance to earn up to $2.5M. Derek Carr starts with Mullens an Garrett Gilbert behind him.”

The key detail in Mullens’ contract is the $1,000,000 and change guaranteed to the QB. Gilbert’s contract details on Spotrac say that he only has $15,000 guaranteed this season, and would make a maximum salary of $1.035 million.

Gilbert could beat out Mullens for the job and the Raiders would take the hit on the guaranteed money, but these numbers at least give an idea on what Las Vegas is expecting out of each quarterback ahead of the 2022 season.


Mullens’ Time with 49ers, Browns and Eagles

There was a point in time where Mullens was exciting 49ers fans as a potential quarterback of the future. While Jimmy Garoppolo was already on the team by 2017, Mullens’ first start in 2018 after Garoppolo got injured shook up the QB conversation, at least initially.

Interestingly enough, that performance came in a 34-3 win over the Raiders. Mullens threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns, completing 16 of 22 passes. However, it was a flash in the pan as Mullens totaled 2015 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 85.4 QB rating in his remaining seven games in 2018 according to Pro Football Reference.

After 16 starts and four years in San Francisco, Mullens became a free agent and joined the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2021 season. He never saw a snap as he was waived from the team during final cuts, but the Cleveland Browns picked him up to backup Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield’s injury issues gave Mullens his first start since leaving the 49ers, but it didn’t lead to another explosion. In his only appearance for the Browns, he completed 20 of 30 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown.

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