The Duel

Bengals RB Joe Mixon Faces One Big Issue in Hopes for Big Free Agent Contract Next Offseason

Tristan Jung
Joe Mixon may have trouble getting a big contract in the 2021 offseason.
Joe Mixon may have trouble getting a big contract in the 2021 offseason. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

After three seasons, Joe Mixon has established himself as a dynamic running back in the Cincinnati Bengals offense. He has rushed for 2,305 yards over 28 starts in the last two seasons, scoring 17 touchdowns over that timespan.

However, with Mixon set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season, he will be facing a major obstacle to getting a big payday.

Next year's running back free-agent market and draft class are going to be saturated with top options. Even with Derrick Henry agreeing to a long-term deal with the Titans, the number of talented backs that will be available may drown out Mixon. While Mixon has shown considerable talent, he'll need to have a big season to prove he's demonstrably better than the other options available, especially considering he failed to play a full season due to injury in 2017 and 2018 and previous off-field issues.

While the free-agent class does mean many teams will have open spots, a team looking to save money at running back could also draft one of the many exciting young talents in the 2021 NFL Draft. A rookie running back is a risk, but it could pay off more than signing Mixon to a big contract.

Mixon has averaged 4.2 yards per carry over his career and is a valuable asset in the passing game, but with so many options on the table, his agent will have his work cut out.

The Bengals are in the midst of a long rebuild that started with drafting quarterback Joe Burrow. Given their long path to contention, overpaying Mixon likely won't be high on their priority list. This class of running backs could give the Bengals a shot to sign Mixon for less, but it also gives them plenty of options to go with if Mixon doesn't want to re-sign.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.