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Samaje Perine, like everyone else, has no clue what the Bengals are doing with Joe Mixon

Keep him in his role? Use him as a three-down back? Cut him? The future is a mystery.

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The imminent future of the Cincinnati Bengals backfield is still relatively unknown. Their top two backs from a season ago may both not be on the roster this upcoming season, potentially leaving a gaping hole in the Joe Burrow-led offense.

Joe Mixon, who was the starting back, is set to earn over $10 million and has a massive $12.7 million cap hit. Cutting him may be an ideal way to prepare for the future if you’re Cincinnati.

At the same time, there’s reason to believe it makes their immediate title chances slimmer. Either way, the future for Mixon remains cloudy, and not even former Bengals back Samaje Perine could give much glimpse into what Cincinnati is thinking right now.

“I just felt it was time for me to make a name for myself wanting to do more offensively just because I didn’t know what they were going to do with Joe (Mixon). Obviously, he’s still a great back,” Perine told Chris Tomasson of The Denver Gazette.

Perine signed a two-year deal with the Denver Broncos and is set to have a larger and more defined role in their offense.

He was one of the league’s best pass-blocking backs last season yet did have clear flaws as a pass-catching back. Perine did end with 394 rushing yards and was paramount for the Bengals' success during Mixon’s late-season absence.

That said, Mixon has had three 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his last five years, and with the Bengals primed to have one of the best aerial attacks in the NFL, having a quality lead back to exploit defenses will be more important now than ever before.

For now, it looks like fans won’t get much insight into the backfield’s future, and Perine certainly didn’t help paint the picture!