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#pounditSunday, December 3, 2023

Bengals could release 1 star player?

Zac Taylor on the sidelines

Jan 2, 2022; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor paces the sideline in the first quarter during a Week 17 NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is in line for a massive contract extension this offseason, and it is possible a potential new deal for the quarterback could cost one other star player his job.

The Athletic published a list on Saturday of one player from each team who could potentially be cut in the coming weeks in order to free up salary cap space. Bengals reporter Jay Morrison listed Joe Mixon, who is scheduled to count $12.8 million against the cap next season.

Cincinnati could save $10 million in cap space if they designated Mixon a post-June 1 cut. However, that would kick dead money down the road, which Morrison says is something the Bengals have tried to avoid. Of course, it is not often that they have a quarterback on their roster who could very well become the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Mixon has played a huge role in the Bengals’ offense over the past two seasons. He rushed for 814 yards and 7 touchdowns this season and set career-highs in the passing game with 60 catches for 441 yards. Mixon also had a pair of scores through the air. The former Oklahoma star rushed for a career-high 1,205 yards and scored 16 total touchdowns in 2021.

As Morrison notes, the Bengals got similar production from Samaje Perine this past season. Perine’s 4.1 yards per carry was actually slightly better than Mixon’s 3.9, though the former had just 95 rushing attempts. Perine also caught 38 passes for 287 yards and averaged 7.6 yards per reception. Mixon averaged 7.3 yards per catch.

Perine is set to become a free agent, but it would cost a lot less to bring him back than to keep Mixon.

There has also been talk of the Bengals potentially trading one of their top wideouts to free up some money. Franchises often have to make difficult decisions when their quarterback is no longer playing on a rookie deal, and that will likely be the case in Cincinnati in the near future.


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