While the Cincinnati Bengals have had an overall great offseason, one major storyline remains in the status of Joe Mixon.
The team’s full-time starting running back since 2018, Mixon is coming off a season in which he averaged a mere 58.1 rushing yards per game, his lowest mark since his rookie year in 2017. He averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, the third worst of his career, while also struggling in pass protection.
Set to turn 27 in July, Mixon’s numbers look even worse if you take away his Week 9 performance against the Carolina Panthers defense, where he ran for five of his seven rushing scores on the season, along with season-highs in rushing yards (153) and yards per rush (6.95).
Despite all the noise, head coach Zac Taylor has continuously voiced his support for Mixon.
“I think we’ve got a great relationship with Joe (Mixon),” Taylor said Tuesday. “I’ve appreciated how he’s come into the building every single day and just worked hard. That’s a big reason why we gave him the contract we gave him, and his presence with the team. He’s a guy I enjoy being around, and we’re counting on him.”
This comes after Taylor showed support for Mixon following the 2023 NFL Draft.
“His (Mixon’s) future is here with the team. I like Joe Mixon,” Taylor exclaimed.
There has been speculation the Bengals could ask Mixon to take a pay cut as they work on contract extensions for Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Logan Wilson, while Ja’Marr Chase will be extension eligible in the 2024 offseason.
While that remains to be seen, it’s starting to look like a done deal Mixon remains with the Bengals for at least one more season.