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Joe Mixon extension talks: Duke Tobin unconcerned about running back value

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“It’s less about the value of position and more about the person and player...”

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The clock is ticking for the Bengals and Joe Mixon to agree on a contract extension as the 2020 NFL season nears.

In his virtual press conference from Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals director of personnel Duke Tobin was asked about Mixon and his contract situation. In addition to claiming that Mixon is “an important part of our team,” Tobin was asked about how the value of the running back position plays into the negotiations with Mixon.

His response bodes well for an extension to take place in the near future.

The conversation regarding running back value has been played out over and over again. It was kicked back into gear this past spring when Christian McCaffrey reset the market for running backs. That was right around when it was speculated that Mixon could hold out for a new deal, and a few weeks later, Mixon and the front office reportedly made progress in negotiating an extension.

It’s been clear since then that Mixon has been in Cincinnati’s long-term plans, and both sides are interested in getting a deal done. The real question has been what the details of Mixon’s contract will look like.

In a hard cap sport like football, it’s impossible to outright dismiss positional value when it comes to veteran contract negotiations. It’s also difficult to believe that Mixon’s contract will include as much guaranteed money as other top running back deals feature. Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader are the only veterans on the Bengals roster with contracts containing over $20 million in guaranteed salary.

No matter how much the Bengals pay Mixon, the Bengals are allocating their resources in one area of the team rather than at another. Tobin remains convinced the value he cares about makes Mixon worth it.