Bengals 'Visited With' Joe Mixon About Possible Contract Extension, Says Tobin

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) rushes against Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
Bryan Woolston/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and it sounds as though the team could engage him in talks regarding a long-term extension. 

Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin told Lance McAlister of 700 WLW (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk) the team would discuss Mixon's contract:

"Joe's obviously a guy that’s shown a lot of ability. He's in a year that he can be extended, and he is a guy that we visited with. We'll go through those discussions and see if there is a fit or a match for a long-term contract with him, obviously a guy we value quite a bit. The great thing about Joe is he goes about it the right way... He's the type of guy you want to lock up to a long-term deal. We'll see if we can find the commonality to get that done over time here."

Mixon said in December he wants to finish his career with the Bengals.

"I want to be a Bengal for life," he told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I haven't really thought about an extension. Right now is definitely the time to start getting into it. I don't know much about the extension part. I just have to go in and hopefully we work something out. I just wish for the best. The ball is in their court, not mine."

Mixon, 23, rushed for 1,137 yards and five touchdowns in 2019, his second straight year eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards. He added 35 receptions for 287 yards and three scores, serving as Cincy's primary form of offense as that unit dramatically stagnated in 2019 en route to a 2-14 season. 

On a better team, Mixon would have generated more buzz.

Evan Silva @evansilva

Have to appreciate how productive he’s been last two seasons in an abysmal offensive environment. Still only 23 years old (24 in July). #Bengals offense should take big 2020 step forward & Mixon stands to benefit. https://t.co/iiQBm4HndZ

"I hope I put up enough tape for them to believe in me," he said in December. "I don't know their thought process. No matter what happens, I know I gave my all out there. I hope they know. We're going to see, man."

The Bengals have the makings of a solid young offense. Top overall pick Joe Burrow (23) will have Mixon, young receivers Tyler Boyd (25) and rookie Tee Higgins (21) and veteran receiver A.J. Green (31) to ease his transition to the NFL. 

Expect Mixon to once again be a huge part of the team's offense, and expect him to get a very nice payday before the 2020 campaign begins.

"I've been all about the team," he said in December. "It comes to a point where I've got to think about me. I hope for the best. I haven't thought that stuff over. I'll have a talk with my agent. That's what I pay him for. The ball's in their court. I'm not stressed over no contract. None of that."