The Arizona Cardinals knew they needed help in the secondary.
Byron Murphy Jr. will continue to handle slot duties while Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton are currently projected as starters. Arizona has neither the coveted depth nor the legitimate starters on the boundary (the jury is still out on Marco Wilson) to sleep well at night, and as a result Mullen is now living in the desert.
Arizona sent a conditional 2023 seventh-round selection that could reportedly turn into a sixth-round pick if Mullen plays ten games for Arizona this season.
Mullen (turning 25-years-old in September) was a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and previously played for the Las Vegas Raiders all three years of his career.
Mullen suffered toe/foot injuries last season, restricting him to just five games. He played in all 16 games the prior two seasons.
Cardinals reporter Darren Urban points out the Cardinals now have five of the top 40 draft picks in the 2019 NFL Draft: first-rounders Kyler Murray, Marquise Brown and second-round picks Murphy, Mullen and Cody Ford.
The general consensus around Mullen isn't around his talent, but rather his availability. The Raiders traded for Rock Ya-Sin and inked Anthony Averett in the offseason, so perhaps they were content with departing from Mullen.
There's a wealth of available veteran free-agent corners available on the market, but the Cardinals opt to roll the dice on Mullen, a relatively young high draft pick with room for improvement.
But is it really Arizona taking a big swing when giving up (at worst) a sixth-round pick for a starting-caliber boundary corner?
If things go south this season, he can enter free agency as a UFA. Arizona has no long-term commitment.
The price was right, Mullen's salary of $2.54 million (according to Spotrac) also keeps the overall cost low. Now, Arizona banks on the patented tradition of trying to elude the injury bug moving forward.
Sure, Mullen isn't the sole savior of Arizona's secondary issues. However, its a low-risk/high-reward move that can pay dividends for the Cardinals.