Joe Mixon update: Things are heating up on the running back market

As fans remain hopeful that the Cincinnati Bengals can extend Joe Mixon, things begin to heat up on the running back market.

One of the biggest questions among Cincinnati Bengals’ fans revolves around how the team will handle Joe Mixon’s contract extension. The former Oklahoma Sooner has been nothing short of spectacular to begin his career in stripes, but with the NFL’s bad track record of paying running backs big money, it’s left some wondering if the two parties will be able to come to an agreement.

In recent history, plenty of star backs have held out in hope of a big payday. First, it was Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon, and most recently, it’s been Dalvin Cook.

However, it’s the San Fransico 49ers that find themselves at the epicenter of the running back world. The overachieving Raheem Mostert has requested a trade from the team. This news comes on the heels of another quality player at the position being dealt by the 49ers earlier this offseason, Matt Breida.

San Fransico traded Breida, one of the fastest players in the league, for just a fifth-round pick. It appears that they’re willing to make a similar type of transaction with Mostert, who had the most yards per carry a season ago.

It’s clear that the organization, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, doesn’t believe that it needs a highly-paid star running back to continue their success. Rather, they seem content going with a committee approach.

At the very least, the 49ers’ stance on running backs has to garner some attention within Paul Brown Stadium as they mull over how much they want to pay Mixon.

Joe Mixon’s situation is unique

It’s easy to look at other situations around the league and project them onto the one unfolding in Cincinnati. The truth is, the circumstances surround Mixon are unique. As much as analysts want to paint a black and white, numerical, stats-based picture, he is the heart and soul of the Bengals, and that carries a value that is difficult to quantify.

Regardless, the orange and black faithful can rest assured that their team will get a fair extension done with Mixon or they’ll let him walk. For proof, look no further than how they handled free agency with guys like Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth. Both were tremendous players, key pillars in the locker room, and showed extreme loyalty to the organization. The front office determined how much they were willing to pay and didn’t really seem to budge, for better or worse.

Is Joe Mixon hinting at something?

One quick glance at Mixon’s Twitter, and you’ll find a cryptic message.

A google search reveals that “4PF” stands for “four pockets full”. Could this be a hint regarding extension talks, or is it something else entirely unrelated?

Either way, fans should keep a close eye on the situation as the potential of an extension remains.