Running back will be a key to the 2023 offseason. The Bengals need to get cheaper and younger. While rolling with Joe Mixon for another year would be productive, his salary is prohibitive to how the Bengals need to structure their costs going forward.
The days of the high-paid running back are over with the last two Super Bowl champions rolling with low-cost options. Simply put, if you want to pay a running back, you can't pay the free agent right tackle that you need also.
How to Fix It: Free Agent and Draft
Very simple. Sign Jamaal Williams or another affordable RB for a team-friendly deal and dive into one of the deepest running back classes in years.
The Bengals will miss the big two with Bijan Robinson and Jahmyrr Gibbs as they are probably too early to select with the Bengals' other pressing needs. After that, there is a plethora of options.
Never fear, there are plenty of ball carriers that could approximate Joe Mixon's role while offering some elusiveness, tackle-breaking and game-breaking speed.
Pick your poison -- Zach Charbonnet, Roschon Johnson, and Tyjae Spears are just some of the candidates to be the Bengals' 2023 version of Isaiah Pacheco. What is important is that they take the leap, cut the cost, and pick an effective one that can be a cost-efficient way to give some running juice to the offense.