The Cincinnati Bengals’ extension of star running back Joe Mixon ties he and Joe Burrow together for the foreseeable future.
The Cincinnati Bengals and star running back Joe Mixon have agreed to a 4-year contract extension worth $48M, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The deal comes just twelve days ahead of the club’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rames.
The exact details of the contract have yet to be revealed, but the average of $12M per year makes the former Oklahoma Sooner the sixth-highest paid back in the league.
Not only does the extension ensure Mixon is around to ease rookie quarterback Joe Burrow’s transition, but it ties him to the Queen City for the next five seasons, providing a glimpse into what the future of the franchise might hold.
Joe Mixon and Joe Burrow will lead the way for the foreseeable future
The contracts of Joe Mixon and Joe Burrow are now set to expire at the same time, assuming the front office opts to pick up the latter’s fifth-year option down the line. This signals that the organization is going all-in on this duo to carry the franchise.
It’s been no secret that the keys to the offense have been given to Burrow, but the coaching staff has also hinted at allowing the gameplan to more heavily involve Mixon, even more than it has in the past. Just a few weeks ago, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan had this to say,
"“He’s [Mixon] been very effective as far as just pure touches. Carries and catches…The more Joe touches the ball the better it is for our offense, without a doubt.”"
While Burrow will eventually take the lead, those kinds of comments make it sound like Cincinnati plans to heavily rely on Mixon for the 2020 campaign and beyond.
Teams around the league have heavily invested in running backs recently, and it has come back to bite them. Look no further than the examples of Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson for proof. Still, the Bengals had no other choice than to keep around the heart and soul of their offense, Joe Mixon.
As the team enters a new era of Bengal football and attempts to bust out of the AFC North cellar, the blueprint will revolve around Mixon. Based on what we’ve seen the past several seasons, that’s a solid plan.