Could Bengals Still Trade Running Back Joe Mixon?

Joe Mixon, Bengals
NFL Analysis Network

The Cincinnati Bengals had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL during the 2022 season. They ranked seventh in points scored and eighth in yardage gained. A large portion of that was because of the work that Joe Burrow did in the passing game.

Cincinnati ranked fifth in passing yardage and second in touchdowns, which buoyed their overall production. On the ground, the Bengals left a lot to be desired. The team was 24th in rushing attempts and 29th in yardage, something that needs to change to help get over the hump.

Their lack of a rushing attack has led to some rumors swirling about the future of Joe Mixon. There are some people who have wondered if the Bengals would move on from this offseason. It would save them a good amount of money, which they could put toward a more explosive option in the backfield or shore up other positions on the roster.

That is what Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated believes could be the route the Bengals take. Mixon landed on his list of 10 players that could still be traded this offseason.

“Last year, the veteran back struggled, rushing for only 814 yards over 14 games on 3.9 yards per carry. This offseason, many thought the Bengals might release Mixon, which would have saved $7.3 million. However, as a post–June 1 cut, that number balloons to $10 million with a dead cap figure of $2.75 million.”

That is a significant amount of money that the Bengals could open up by moving on from a player who has lacked explosion throughout his career but looked truly plodding in 2022. The only hangup in making such a move with Mixon is the lack of reliable options on the roster.

His backup from last season, Samaje Perine, departed in free agency, signing with the Denver Broncos. That leaves Trayveon Williams, Chris Evans and rookie fifth-round pick Chase Brown rounding out the depth chart behind Mixon.

The only impact player that the Bengals would be able to target that would be a surefire upgrade is Dalvin Cook. The Minnesota Vikings are looking to move on from him, whether it is via trade or release. If the numbers can be worked out, Cincinnati would be an excellent landing spot for him as a piece that can put the finishing touches on this Bengals offense.