While there haven't been any signs of progress in negotiations, Bengals Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin said that the organization desires to sign Mixon to a long-term deal, Chris Roling of USA Today reports. The initial conventional wisdom was that a deal with Mixon would have to wait until the Bengals resolved A.J. Green's long-term contract situation, but that might not necessarily be the case.
The Bengals and Mixon haven't yet agreed on a contract extension, and while there haven't been any reports of acrimony between the two sides, a holdout remains a possibility, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic reports. Mixon is set to become a free agent after this season, though the Bengals have the recourse of a franchise tag available to retain him through 2021. Christian McCaffrey's recent new contract will be mentioned as part of the conversation in any extension discussions, though the Bengals are hardly known for their willingness to throw big money at a player. Mixon's status becomes more pressing now with the draft just around the corner.
Mixon indicated Monday that he's hopeful to agree with the Bengals on a contract extension this offseason, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports. "I've always been all about the team. But if it comes to a point where I gotta think about me, that's just what's going to have to happen," Mixon said, when asked if he would skip offseason workouts if an extension isn't in place. Though Mixon's efficiency as a ballcarrier dropped off in 2019, he still rumbled for 1,137 yards and five touchdowns on an acceptable 4.1 yards per tote while working behind a porous offensive line. The 23-year-old is on Cincinnati's books through 2020, but he's understandably seeking some longer-term job security on the heels of his second consecutive 1,000-plus-yard campaign. Mixon was at his best during the final quarter of the 2019 season, clearing 100 rushing yards in three of those four contests and chipping in nine receptions for 97 yards.
Mixon carried 26 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns while adding a 14-yard catch during Sunday's 33-23 win over the Browns. Mixon gashed the Cleveland defense for 6.2 yards per carry en route to a new career high in rushing. He added short rushing touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters, giving him five in the final seven games after he recorded none beforehand. Mixon's herculean effort also put him over 1,000 rushing yards on the season, which is an impressive feat considering his struggles early on. The third-year back faced his share of obstacles throughout the campaign, but he still finished with over 1,400 yards from scrimmage to go along with eight touchdowns, and he could fare even better in 2020 if the Bengals upgrade their roster on the offensive side of the ball.
Mixon, who was said to be dealing with an illness prior to Sunday's 38-35 overtime loss to the Dolphins, rushed 21 times for 50 yards and brought in both targets for 23 yards during the contest. Mixon turned in a gutsy performance considering he was under the weather, even though his likely depleted energy levels prevented him from fully capitalizing on an excellent matchup on paper. Mixon's yardage total was disappointing in the wake of his back-to-back 100-yard performances in Weeks 14 and 15, but he'll hope to thrive in another potentially favorable scenario versus the Browns' suspect run defense in Week 17.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/13||Los Angeles Chargers||22||18.88|
|12||11/29||New York Giants||17||17.75|
|3 Year Avg||231||977||6||36||290||1||166|