Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported the update Monday and provided comments from Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin about the potential to get a deal done before the 2020 season gets underway in September.
"Joe is an important part of our team. He's a piece that we'd like to get extended and have around here a long time," Tobin said. "Typically, our extensions have gotten done during camp at some point."
"Joe's been a great player for us. We want him around here. We know what he is. He came in and earned it," Tobin said Monday. "He's a guy that we're proud of. Regardless of what's in the draft next year or what's in free agency, we know that Joe's a piece that we want. We'll work to see if that can come together."
Mixon is set to enter the final season of his four-year, $5.5 million rookie contract, which includes a $1.2 base salary for 2020.
The New York Giants' Saquon Barkley owns the eighth-highest average salary among running backs at $7.8 million, per Spotrac. The Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey sits atop the list with a $16 million average salary after signing a four-year, $64 million extension in April.
In December, Mixon told reporters he wanted to become a "Bengal for life" but said he also understood it takes two sides to make a deal.
"I just hope I've put up enough tape for them to believe in me to want me back, you know what I'm saying? I don't know their thought process," he said. "If I did, I mean, I'd love to. At the end of the day, no matter what happens, I know I gave my all out there. I know what kind of back I am. I hope they know."
The Bengals selected Mixon in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft out of the University of Oklahoma.
He's set to lead a Cincinnati backfield that will also see Giovani Bernard as a consistent contributor as part of a high-upside offense led by first overall pick Joe Burrow. A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross III and Tee Higgins headline one of the league's most explosive pass-catching groups.
Burrow's development has been slowed by the elimination of on-field activities throughout the offseason because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Bengals offense should steadily improve throughout the year as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner becomes more comfortable, though.
A key question will be whether Mixon remains among the talented group for 2021 and beyond.