The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to ask running back Joe Mixon to take a pay cut. If he refuses to do so, he ‘be let go’ from the team, the Athletic senior writer Paul Dehner Jr, noted.
Mixon has been with the Bengals since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 Draft, and he has been one of their most consistent players over the years.
However, his performance on the field has not been up to the team’s standards lately. Last season, he finished 57th out of 62 qualifying running backs in Pro Football Focus’ elusive rating. This rating takes into account the rate of missed tackles forced with yards after contact.
After rushing for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2021, Mixon was limited to 814 yards rushing with 7 touchdowns last season, 4 of which came from a single game against the Panthers on Week 9.
Moreover, Mixon’s stats do not look very impressive when compared to other running backs in the league. Among the 11 running backs who caught at least 50 passes last season, he ranked in the middle in receptions per missed tackle and yards per catch.
The Bengals are also waiting for the conclusion of the aggravated menacing case against Mixon, which was refiled by the Cincinnati Police Department. The case is expected to have an impact on the team’s decision regarding Mixon’s future with the organization.
The Bengals’ Executive Vice President, Katie Blackburn, was asked about Mixon at the league meetings a few weeks ago. She stated that Mixon remains with the team “right now.” However, this could change depending on the outcome of the aggravated menacing case and Mixon’s willingness to take a pay cut.
It is worth noting that Mixon signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Bengals in 2020 and is set to hit free-agency in 2025.
The Bengals also have to sign franchise quarterback Joe Burrow to a long-term deal, one that will be very costly especially now after the Eagles made Jalen Hurts the highest paid player in NFL history with a 5-year, $255 million deal.
It remains to be seen whether Mixon will be able to retain his position with the Bengals or if he will be let go. Nevertheless, the Bengals are expected to make a decision soon, as the NFL draft approaches.