Joe Mixon is entering the second year of his contract extension.
Even though he was extended before the season started in 2020, this is the first year he will finally start making the big bucks.
Mixon’s salary will jump from $575,000 to $5 million in 2021, not to mention over $3 million available in bonuses. His salary will increase to $8 million in 2022, then over $9 million in 2023 and 2024.
Last year was obviously a rough one for Mixon. The good news so far is that he’s impressed his coaches this offseason.
“Joe does all the things we ask him to do. He’s catching the ball really well. He’s getting detailed. He knows who to block in the protections and how to do it,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said on Tuesday. “He’s a really strong runner. He really buys in to the schemes that Frank (Pollack) employs and what we’re asking him to do up front.”
Catching the ball is becoming an important task for running backs as the NFL evolves. Learning to be a receiver will be key in becoming an every down back.
As far as buying into Pollack’s scheme, Mixon was the most excited player on the team when the Cincinnati Bengals brought Pollack back. He obviously holds Pollack in high regard, so it didn’t take much for him to buy in.
“I don’t want Joe (Mixon) to leave the field, personally,” Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said in May. “Joe shouldn’t come off the field, he should be on the field every down. He’s aware of that.”
Callahan was the Raiders’ running backs coach before Taylor hired him to the Bengals’ staff. Though Callahan did admit Mixon needs to improve his pass protection, he also said that Mixon knows this and has been working on it.
“Having Joe Mixon on the field makes us better,” Taylor said. “We want him to be full go for the length of the season.”
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