Uncertainty Looms Over Joe Mixon’s Future with Cincinnati Bengals Amid Off-Field Issues
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is facing uncertainty regarding his future with the team as he deals with off-field issues. At the age of 26, Mixon has recently completed his sixth season with the Bengals, having served as a team captain twice. The Bengals gave Mixon a four-year contract extension worth $48 million in September 2020, which runs through the 2024 season. However, Mixon is coming off a down year after being named to the Pro Bowl in 2021, rushing for 814 yards and seven touchdowns in the 2022 season.
As the 2023 season approaches, the status of Mixon's tenure with the Bengals remains uncertain. According to Over The Cap, Mixon is guaranteed a minimum of $9 million in base salary for the next two seasons. However, his performance in the previous season was his poorest since he first entered the league. In 2020, the team offered Mixon a contract extension of four years worth $48 million, which he signed. With two years remaining on his contract, he stands to make a maximum of $10.1 million in 2023, comprising a $9.4 million base salary and as much as $700,000 in bonuses for games and workouts.
In February, Mixon faced charges when a woman claimed he had brandished a firearm at her on January 21, the day prior to the Cincinnati Bengals' victory over the Buffalo Bills in the NFL playoffs' divisional round. According to court documents, Mixon uttered the words, “You should be popped in the face. I should shoot you, the police can’t (sic) get me.” to the woman. I should shoot you, the police can’t (sic) get me.” Mixon pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor aggravated menacing charge on April 7 and is scheduled to appear in court on April 19. He was granted recognizance for a $10,000 bond and requested a jury trial. He was also ordered to have no contact with the woman.
Mixon's off-the-field behavior has given the Bengals some things to consider, and reports of the pay cut arrive as the 26-year-old appears in court on Wednesday to answer for the aggravated menacing charge he received in February after reportedly flashing a gun at a woman. At this year's NFL Scouting Combine, Duke Tobin, the Bengals' Director of Player Personnel, gave a vague response when questioned about Joe Mixon's availability for the 2023 season. If the six-year veteran does not agree to a reduction in pay, the team is preparing to possibly part ways with him.
Due to the market trends this year, Cincinnati may request Mixon to take a significant reduction in pay, as the ex-second round selection has encountered another off-the-field problem. Mixon is facing a misdemeanor aggravated menacing charge stemming from a traffic incident ahead of the Bengals’ trip to Buffalo in January. Despite the fact that the Oklahoma alum had been suspended by the Sooners for breaking four bones in a woman's face during a 2014 assault at a restaurant, the Bengals decided to take a chance on his potential and drafted him. Adding to Mixon's off-field issues will not work in his favor, as he may face suspension due to his veteran status.
While the Bengals have not been shy about addressing the running back position in the draft, having already lost Samaje Perine out of the backfield earlier this offseason, they would probably like to try to keep Mixon, who will still only be 27 in July. Mixon's agent previously said the charges against his client would be dropped. However, the initial charge against Mixon was dismissed in early February before being refiled by Cincinnati police on April 7.
In the meantime, the Bengals' decision regarding Mixon's future with the team remains unclear.
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1. “Bengals RB Joe Mixon pleads not guilty to aggravated menacing after he allegedly pointed gun at woman” Yahoo Sports, 19 Apr. 2023, https://sports.yahoo.com/bengals-rb-joe-mixon-pleads-not-guilty-to-aggravated-menacing-after-he-allegedly-pointed-gun-at-woman-195437807.html
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3. “Bengals' Joe Mixon pleads not guilty to charge of allegedly pointing gun in woman's face” Fox News, 19 Apr. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/sports/bengals-joe-mixon-pleads-not-guilty-charge-allegedly-pointing-gun-womans-face
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9. “The Cincinnati Bengals Are Unsure About Joe Mixon, Based On His Contract And Off-Field Issues” Bounding Into Sports, 13 Apr. 2023, https://www.boundingintosports.com/2023/04/the-cincinnati-bengals-are-unsure-about-joe-mixon-based-on-his-contract-and-off-field-issues/
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