Joe Mixon contract: How much will Bengals RB earn in 2023 after restructured deal

Carolina Panthers v Cincinnati Bengals
How much will Bengals RB Joe Mixon earn in 2023 after restructured deal

Joe Mixon is the latest indicator that the running back market is getting squeezed in the NFL. After watching Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott be released, despite being high-paid backs, Mixon has decided to take a pay cut to remain with the Cincinnati Bengals.

His previous deal would have earned him $9 million this year, though most of it was not guaranteed. By restructuring the deal, he will earn around $6 million this year, which can go up to $8 million based on incentives.

He was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft.

Given that the Bengals are again expected to be in the mix for the Super Bowl title, restructuring gives Joe Mixon the opportunity to play for a ring this season.

Joe Mixon's decision comes as the running back market collapses in the NFL

Joe Mixon is just 26 years old and made the Pro Bowl as recently as 2021. However, the position he plays is not receiving big money from franchises.

There are several factors for this phenomenon. First of all, rookie players coming into the league are often ready to play the position straight away. That reduces the salary incentives for veterans as they are able to cut costs with rookie deals and still serviceably approach the running game.

The other reason is that running backs often run into contact and as such, are always at a risk of injury. Therefore teams do not want to pay them guaranteed money.

Furthermore, the league has moved to a more pass-based offense over the last many years. This can be seen in the franchise tag valuations of players.

In 2021, the quarterback's value was $24 million, wide receivers was $16 million, running back was $11 million and a tight end was just $10 million. In 2023, tight ends' franchise tag value has jumped over the running backs. Quarterbacks are at $32 million, wide receivers at $19 million, tight ends at $11 million and running backs at $10 million.

The running back value has actually reduced from what it was two years ago. In fact, except kickers and punters, no other position has as low of a value as a running back on the entire roster, whether offense or defense.

Quick Links

Edited by Rit Nanda