It appears that move will finally be coming, according to Paul Dehner Jr. from The Athletic, who says the team will eventually ask the veteran back to take a paycut or be released.
Here’s what Dehner had to say.
[Mixon’s] next steps involve the conclusion of the aggravated menacing case refiled against him by the Cincinnati Police Department and negotiation of a pay cut the team is expected to ask him to either accept or be let go.
This move has been expected for some time. The reason it took so long? The front office usually doesn’t worry about creating cap space like this unless they have an almost assured plan to use it for.
It just so happens that quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins are both possibly set to reset the market at their positions. That space could be used in one of those deals.
If Mixon is released with a post-June 1st distinction the team is set to save just over $10 million in cap space. His cap hit is pretty high given his position and how cheap his replacement would be. Mixon is still a talented player, and creating space for the sake of creating space isn’t good for any team.
This is the business side of the NFL really taking over. We saw Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones take a pay decrease from $16 million to $11 million this offseason. A similar $5 million cut may be what Cincinnati is after.
We will have to wait and see how this unfolds, especially with the NFL Draft quickly approaching.