The Case For Extending Joe Mixon
There are many reasons that the Bengals should want to keep Mixon long term. Most important among those reasons is to provide support for the inevitable first overall pick Joe Burrow. Burrow’s development will be the Bengals’ number one priority over the next few years and it will be important to surround him with as many weapons as possible. A strong rushing attack will open up the passing game for Burrow and help the reigning Heisman thrive in the NFL.
Mixon has also been one of the most valuable players on the Bengals over the past two years and losing him would be a big hit. Mixon has accounted for 1,400+ all-purpose yards in each of the past two seasons, making him the team’s leader in all-purpose yards in that span. Losing him would mean the Bengals lose their number one source of offensive yardage on the team.
The Bengals are well known for not spending much money on outside free agents. While some would say the team should spend big money on the offensive line or on the defensive side of the ball, the Mike Brown-led front office may prefer to spend their money on retaining their own players instead of bringing new ones in. If the team is unwilling to spend big on outsiders, they will have the money to pay Mixon and they should do so.
Outside of his play on the field, Mixon is a leader for the Bengals. Even throughout their 2-14 season in 2019, he was always enthusiastic, pushing himself and others not to give up. Mixon’s energy is infectious to both the fans and his teammates around him. Whether it is a close game or a blowout, he always brings the same passion to the game and that rubs off on the players around him. For a team rebuilding, Mixon’s leadership is invaluable.
While it may come at a hefty price, the Bengals should pay Mixon because he will provide great support for Joe Burrow, he is the team’s leading source of offensive yards, they will have the money to pay him what he wants, and his leadership will be crucial as the team rebuilds.