All the spending the Cincinnati Bengals did this offseason doesn’t erase their relationship with the salary cap. As of now, the Bengals are projected to start the season with approximately $17 million in cap space once the rookie pool kicks in. They realistically have room for one more new contract in order to save the $8-10M in cap space they usually save for miscellaneous purposes.
Joe Mixon seems to be the obvious candidate for that new contract.
A new deal for Mixon would likely increase his cap hit by a handful of millions from the $1.7M mark it is now. Judging by the comments director or player personnel Duke Tobin made on Lance McCalister’s podcast the other day, it appears that a Mixon extension has a high chance of happening this offseason.
“Joe [Mixon]’s obviously a guy that’s shown a lot of ability,” Tobin said. “He’s in a year that he can be extended, and he is a guy that we visited with. We’ll go through those discussions and see if there is a fit or a match for a long-term contract with him, obviously a guy we value quite a bit…he’s the type of guy you want to lock up to a long-term deal. We’ll see if we can find the commonality to get that done over time here.”
Regardless if an A.J. Green deal happens, which Tobin was also asked about, Green’s already on the books for about $18M this season if he plays on the franchise tag. A new contract for the Pro Bowl receiver might lower his cap hit in 2020.
Mixon’s pay would only be going up, so any potential free agent signing they may think about making, they have to account for Mixons’ potential new money.
And judging by Tobin’s words, that new money for Mixon appears to be an inevitability. When the Bengals want to extend a player, they have little trouble doing so before the season begins. Even though Mixon plays a position they’ve never paid anywhere near market value for, his case shouldn’t be much different.
A new deal for Green is obviously still in the works, but the likelihood of one for Mixon seemed to have increased this week.