The Cincinnati Bengals showcased how ruthless playing running back in the NFL can truly be. Initially, reports were that the team was cutting their top running back of seven years, Joe Mixon, on Monday evening, and immediately replacing him with former Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss (two-year, $8 million contract), per ESPN.

However, the Bengals were able to find a suitor for Mixon before having to release him, as they're sending him to the Texans, per CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones.

Mixon, who turns 28 on July 24, ranks third in Bengals history in rushing yards (6,412) and second in rushing touchdowns (49), trailing only Pete Johnson's 64. His 6,412 career rushing yards since entering the NFL in 2017 as a second-round pick out of Oklahoma (48th overall) are the fourth-most in the league in that span, trailing only Nick Chubb (6,511), Ezekiel Elliott (7,273) and Derrick Henry (9,012). Mixon totaled over 1,000 rushing yards in four of his seven seasons, including 1,034 in 2023. His 49 career rushing touchdowns are the eighth-most in the NFL since 2017.

Mixon also added value as a pass-catcher with 283 catches (seventh-most in the NFL since 2017) and 2,139 receiving yards (seventh-most in the NFL since 2017. Over the last three seasons, since 2021, only Austin Ekeler (44 scrimmage touchdowns) and Jalen Hurts (38 scrimmage touchdowns) found the end zone more frequently than Mixon. However, trading him will save the team $6.1 million in cap space, per Spotrac

The big contrast between Mixon and Moss, who will turn 27 on December 15, is their explosion on a per carry basis. Mixon hasn't averaged over 4.1 yards per carry since his second season back in 2018. Moss has exceeded that figure in three of his four seasons. He tallied career-high marks in carries (183), rushing yards (794) and rushing touchdowns (eight) in 2023 while filling in for Colts Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor, who missed seven games last season because of a contract holdout (Weeks 1-4) and a thumb injury (Weeks 13-15). 

Moss averaged 69.8 rushing yards per game as a starter (eight starts) in 2023, the eighth-highest figure in the NFL last season. Now, the Bengals are looking forward to figuring out if he can be more dynamic in a featured role. 

As for the Texans, they now have a replacement for Devin Singletary, who signed with the New York Giants in free agency.