Joe Mixon could be released by Bengals if he doesn’t accept pay cut

Joe Mixon’s days as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals might be numbered.

The team is “expected” to ask the 26-year-old running back to take a pay cut or be released, The Athletic reported Sunday, as Mixon is slated to count as a nearly $13 million cap hit for 2023, according to Over the Cap.

“His next steps involve the conclusion of the aggravated menacing case refiled against him by the Cincinnati Police Department and negotiation of a pay cut the team is expected to ask him to either accept or be let go,” The Athletic’s report stated.

Questions surrounding Mixon’s future in Cincinnati have been swirling for some time.

The 2021 Pro Bowler — who has been embroiled in multiple controversies this offseason — was a topic of discussion at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, when the Bengals’ director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, insinuated the team isn’t certain of Mixon’s return for the upcoming season.

“Joe has been a vital part of our team, He’s been a successful part of our team,” Tobin said.

“Again, I’m not gonna predict the offseason because I don’t have the answers.”

Mixon’s production dropped last season.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon in January 2023.
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He rushed for 814 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022 versuses 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns the year before.

Off the field, Mixon is currently facing an aggravated menacing charge Cincinnati police re-filed against him earlier this month stemming from an incident in January, in which he was accused of waving a gun at a woman.

An arrest warrant for Mixon was initially filed and later dismissed by a prosecutor, who stated at the time the charge could be re-filed in new evidence was gathered.

Mixon, a former second-round pick in 2017, was linked to a separate incident in March, when shots were allegedly fired from the athlete’s Cincinnati area-home at a group of teens who were playing NERF wars.

If Mixon were to be released, Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans would be the remaining running backs under contract.

The Bengals were among the betting favorites to land Derrick Henry in March, when trade rumors circulated about the Titans’ star running back.

Joe Mixon during a Bengals playoff game against the Bills in January 2023.
Joe Mixon during a Bengals playoff game against the Bills in January 2023.
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In addition to Mixon, the Bengals have more difficult salary cap decisions to make in the near future pertaining to superstar quarterback Joe Burrow and standout receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Mixon signed a four-year, $48 million extension in 2020.