Mixon agrees to less money to stay with Bengals

Published 8:06 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Staff Report

CINCINNATI — For Joe Mixon, it was deal or no deal.

Faced with the possibility of being a cap space casualty, Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon agreed to restructure his contract in order to stay with the team.

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The 7-year-veteran had a 4-year, $48 million deal that made him one of the top five running backs in the NFL. He earned $11.42 million last season but agreed to a new deal rather  than be cut and miss a chance of making the Super Bowl this season.

The Bengals would have saved more than $7 million by releasing Mixon this year and more than $10 million by waiving him after the post-June 1 cut.

His original contract called for $12.76 million in 2023.

Cincinnati had already dropped running back  Samaje Perine, tight end Hayden Hurst, and safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III, but with a big-money addition like offensive tackle Orlando Brown and a new contract for linebacker Germaine Pratt.

Brown’s contract might have led to the Bengals making more smaller cuts as they prepare to negotiate a huge deal for  quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

Both Burrow — considered one of the top quarterbacks in the league — Chase  are essential to the Bengals’ success and chances of winning a Super Bowl.

After  Mixon reach career-highs in rushes (292), rushing yards (1,205), and rushing touchdowns (13), the Bengals rewarded him with his new big deal.

But after missing three games and only managing 814 rushing yards last year,  the Bengals began to doubt what he didn’t.

A misdemeanor menacing charge in April put added pressure on the Bengals wheter to keep Taylor on the roster. The charge was dismissed.

Bengals’ head coach Zac Taylor defended the 26-year-old, establishing that Mixon’s future was “with the team,” and the front office continued to try to work towards an agreeable number on a pay reduction.