Joe Mixon’s future with Cincinnati Bengals takes unexpected turn

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bengals reportedly are no longer releasing running back Joe Mixon and will instead trade him to the Houston Texans.

Cincinnati signed running back Zack Moss in free agency, which made Mixon expendable.

Mixon has been one of the best running backs in the NFL over the last several seasons, and he’ll have a chance to play in a high-powered offense led by quarterback C.J. Stroud in Houston.

The Texans lost running back Devin Singletary to the New York Giants in free agency on Monday, so the team could view Mixon as his replacement alongside Dameon Pierce.

Last season, Mixon carried the ball 257 times for 1,034 yards and nine scores for Cincinnati. He also added 52 receptions for 376 yards and three scores.

While Mixon did post the fourth 1,000-yard rushing season of his career, it did not come with his best efficiency. Mixon averaged just 4.0 yards per carry, the third time in the last four seasons that he was unable to go over the 4.0 yards per carry threshold.

The Bengals, who made the Super Bowl with Mixon on the roster in the 2021 season, are moving forward with Moss, who spent last season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Moss played a big role for the Colts last season, especially when star running back Jonathan Taylor was out of the lineup. He carried the ball 183 times for 794 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and scored five rushing touchdowns.

The 26-year-old Moss – like Mixon – is also a capable receiver. He reeled in 27 passes for 192 yards and two scores in the 2023 campaign.

The Bengals are hoping that Moss can fit in with an offense that features star quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Cincinnati also franchise tagged receiver Tee Higgins this offseason, but he has since requested a trade.

Cincy is hoping that it can get back to the playoffs after missing them last season. A wrist injury to Burrow cost the team in a big way down the stretch.

The Bengals and Texans could easily meet in the playoffs in the 2024 season, which would give Mixon a chance to prove to his former team that it shouldn’t have let him go.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.