Bengals running back Joe Mixon accepted a pay cut of about $3 million for this season, but he says it’s worth it if some salary cap relief helps the Bengals build a champion.
“I see the bigger picture. I see the task at hand and what we’re trying to build and in order to keep other players here and pieces here, sometimes you have to sacrifice,” Mixon told Bengals.com. “I felt like this year was the year to sacrifice on the Super Bowl team we can potentially be. That was my stance on it. We agreed on a number with great compensation this year with the incentives. Off my last deal, I feel like they allowed me to work to be able to make that money back. That’s cool. I’ll go work for it.”
Realistically, if Mixon hadn’t agreed to the pay cut, the Bengals almost certainly would have released him, and he almost certainly would have failed to get more money anywhere else. NFL teams simply don’t see running backs as valuable enough to devote a significant portion of their salary cap to the position.
Mixon recognizes that, although he hopes fortunes change for his position.
“Hopefully, with the union and players, we’ll try to do whatever we can to uplift that market,” he said.
This year is not a good one to be a running back on the market. Mixon knew that, and accepted a deal he hopes was good for his team.