What Joe Mixon's departure means for Chase Brown's workload in 2024

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

For most Cincinnati Bengals fans, seeing the departure of Joe Mixon is a sad sight. Mixon was drafted in 2017 out of the University of Oklahoma in the 2nd round. A young college kid faced with a lot of controversy out the gate, he silenced all doubters and critics. Mixon was a class act and a leader during his entire tenure, which lasted seven seasons in Cincinnati.

He represented the city with the highest magnitude. Mixon ranks 3rd all-time in rushing yards for the Bengals franchise, racking up 49 touchdowns and well over 6,000 scrimmage yards. Mixon firmly established himself as one of the most productive and efficient running backs in the franchise's history.

However, as sad as it may seem, it was the right move. Mixon was due close to $10 million in 2024, and by moving him to the Houston Texans, the Bengals front office cleared that contract and allowed them to sign a cheaper and younger running back in Zack Moss.

Exit: Mixon, Enter: Brown?

Plus, second-year back Chase Brown could be the dark horse that many have kept a quiet voice about heading into the 2024 NFL season. After a solid rookie campaign, expect Brown to be an extreme focal point for Cincinnati's offense, potentially even more so than Moss. 

It won't be easy to beat out Moss after the year he had last season with the Colts. Moss racked up a career high in attempts with 183 and totaled 794 yards and five rushing touchdowns, as well as 27 receptions for 292 yards and two touchdowns. He set career high's in nearly every statistical category.

In Brown's rookie season, in minimal touches, he totaled 44 rushes for 179 yards, 14 receptions for 156 yards, and a touchdown. The stats may not blow you away, but the volume just wasn't there. Now, with Mixon out of the picture, it should provide an opportunity for Brown to see not only a higher volume of carries, but potentially even become the lead back. 

Brown has an explosive tenacity about his play style. When he gets to the second level, his speed is nearly impossible to catch. During his 54-yard touchdown catch-and-run against the Colts last season, he reached a top speed of 22.05 miles per hour. This was the second fastest mark all season, behind only DK Metcalf.

Joe Mixon should prosper in a Texans offense that had a lot of success last season, and now the Bengals offense looks to move forward with a different look in a running back room that will hope to improve from 2023.