The Cincinnati Bengals say they have visited with running back Joe Mixon and talked about a long-term contract extension.
Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin spoke about Mixon’s contract status during an appearance on Cincinnati’s 700 WLW. Mixon has a base salary of $1.2 million in 2020, which is the final season of his rookie contract, and a $525,000 bonus.
The second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft led the AFC with 1,168 rushing yards in 2018 and logged the sixth-most rushing yards in the conference, and ninth-most in the NFL, in 2019.
“Joe’s obviously a guy that’s shown a lot of ability,” Tobin said. “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 [he is] a guy we value quite a bit.
“The great thing about Joe is he goes about it the right way. He’s enthusiastic. He prepares hard and plays hard. 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, 23, is one of several talented running backs to come out of the 2017 NFL Draft class. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked Leonard Fournette and the Carolina Panthers drafted Christian McCaffrey in the first round that year.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was a second-round pick and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans) and James Conner (Pittsburgh) went in the third round.
McCaffrey is the highest-paid running back in the league — on an annual basis — with a salary of $16 million. The Panthers star signed a four-year, $64 million extension last month that includes $30 million guaranteed.
The Bengals have had an active off-season, drafting LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick last month and giving lucrative contracts to several defenders in free agency.
Cincinnati also claimed former Washington Redskins running back Samaje Perine — Mixon’s teammate at the University of Oklahoma — off waivers and signed several undrafted free agents, including Arkansas running back Devwah Whaley.