3. Can save a significant amount of cap space by releasing him
Since June 1 has passed, the Bengals could save roughly $10 million if they chose to release Mixon, who is under contract for the next two seasons and is an unrestricted free agent in 2025. He is set to be paid $9.4 million this season and $9.7 million next season, according to Spotrac. He's also a $12 million cap hit.
When you have players like Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Logan Wilson, and Ja'Marr Chase that soon need to be paid at high demand, that $10 million that could be saved by releasing Mixon becomes very useful. However, then you still need to fill that void at running back moving forward.
2. Has had a rocky off-season
Mixon hasn't had the off-season many expected. It started with some internal investigations after an incident occurred around his property. However, he was not charged for anything surrounding what happened. Mixon was also investigated for an issue involving a woman who claimed he pointed a gun in her direction and threatened her. Mixon went on to plead not guilty.
Regardless, these are the things that can lead players to be released. Financially, there is already some logic to it, and then pair that with having your name in the media for serious accusations. Since joining the Bengals, Mixon hasn't had any off-the-field issues and has always been one to represent the city and team as a professional, which shouldn't go unnoticed.
1. Career-low season last year
Mixon had the worst statistical season of his career outside of his rookie season for the number of games he appeared in. This means retaining him for another year could go one of two ways.
He will bounce back and be the Joe Mixon Bengals fans are accustomed to, or he will continue to tread in a downward direction. Running backs don't tend to last a significant amount of years, especially, the ones who get handed the football game after game like Mixon has over the last few years.
You need to be able to mix up looks and have complementary backs to share snaps which Cincinnati started to do with Samaje Perine. With Perine heading to Denver, as mentioned, someone else will need to be able to take the load off of Mixon when he is struggling or needs a playoff.