Las Vegas Raiders waive OL Alex Leatherwood, trade CB Trayvon Mullen to Arizona Cardinals

HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Las Vegas Raiders waived 2021 first-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the Raiders traded 2019 second-round pick Trayvon Mullen to the Arizona Cardinals. Las Vegas gets a 2023 conditional seventh-round pick that could become a sixth-round pick in the trade.

Leatherwood, an offensive lineman taken with the No. 17 overall pick out of Alabama to be the Raiders' foundational right tackle, regressed in the preseason and Las Vegas' new regime of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler had seen enough.

In waiving the right tackle, the Raiders will take a $7.9 million hit to their salary cap if no other team claims him. Per Over The Cap, Leatherwood's $14.39 million salary was fully guaranteed.

None of the Raiders' three first-round picks from 2020-21 (WR Henry Ruggs III, CB Damon Arnette, Leatherwood) remain with the team, and none of the Raiders' three first-rounders from 2019 (DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, SS Johnathan Abram) had their fifth-year options picks up by the new regime this offseason.

The move is an indication of the autonomy given to McDaniels and Ziegler by owner Mark Davis.

Leatherwood was considered a draft reach last season by many observers and struggled enough early in the season that he was moved from right tackle to right guard in Week 5.

He was moved back to right tackle in camp and was competing with Brandon Parker before Parker went down with an arm injury in the Hall of Fame Game.

"I basically try to not get too high or too low, just staying grounded," Leatherwood said at the beginning of camp. "It's going well. I'm human, so we all have our ups and downs. But overall, I feel good."

But Leatherwood was supplanted by rookie seventh rounder Thayer Munford and Jermaine Eluemunor, making him expendable since Leatherwood could not fulfill the role of a swing tackle, either.

Mullen, who was returning from a toe injury that limited him to just five games last season, was more of an observer than participant early in training camp as he began it on the physically unable to perform list after May foot surgery. He had played in all 32 games, starting 26, in his first two seasons and Mullen was expected to reclaim a starting job at cornerback for the Raiders.

But the acquisition of Rock Ya-Sin in a trade for edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue and the free-agent signing of Anthony Averett, as well as the emergence of Nate Hobbs as a premium slot corner who can also slide to the outside, made Mullen and his four career interceptions expendable.

Mullen gives the Cardinals some much-needed depth at corner. Throughout training camp, coach Kliff Kingsbury has said only one corner job was secured: Byron Murphy Jr. Other than that, there's been an open competition for the other two starting spots with Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton leading the pace.

Mullen now gives the Cardinals another option and more competition with Week 1 less than two weeks away.

ESPN's Josh Weinfuss contributed to this report.