Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals finally agreed to a contract extension Tuesday. The fourth-year back got a four-year extension reportedly worth $48 million.
That means Mixon is now one of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs once his new contract years kick in. He was scheduled to make $1.7 million this year, so in essence, he’s now playing on a five-year contract worth about $50 million.
If we’re going on just the new years, Mixon will make $12 million annually, which would be the sixth-highest of any NFL running back. If you look at the contract as a whole, it’s $10 million annually, which would still be the sixth-highest annual value.
But while Mixon has played at a level worthy of such a deal, he plays a position that’s been greatly devalued. After all, running backs wear down faster than any other position in today’s NFL, and we’ve seen several teams essentially forced to cut their highly-paid backs after they quickly regressed following their extensions (Todd Gurley and Devonta Freeman are recent examples).
However, when talking about how much various players make, you also have to consider the importance they have to their teams. In the cases of Gurley and Freeman, they were great backs but played for loaded offenses that are already pass-happy in the Rams and Falcons, who also have established veteran quarterbacks.
The Bengals offense certainly has the potential to be like that, but Joe Burrow is a rookie with no OTAs or preseason, and several Bengals receivers have been banged up already in training camp. And it’s pretty much a lock that one of A.J. Green or John Ross is gone next year when they become free agents.
Alex Erickson is also a free agent next year, while Auden Tate is a free agent in 2022, so this deep receiver group could really thin out in the coming years, putting even more importance in having a great running back like Mixon to keep carrying the offense.
That’s why Mixon is going to be a very valuable member of this franchise for the foreseeable future, and his value to the Bengals likely made the team willing to pay him more than was expected (Mixon reportedly was happy with a deal paying him about $8 million annually).
So, we ask you, did the Bengals get it right with this deal? Vote below and let your voice be heard in the comments section!.
Do you approve of the Bengals’ contract extension for Joe Mixon?
This poll is closed