The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. says that while normally big contracts for running backs have shown they don’t age well, it’s possible the Bengals won’t end up regretting their four-year, $48 million extension for RB Joe Mixon.
The Bengals have loads of cap space and should be well-positioned with first-round QB Joe Burrow on his rookie deal for the next four years. Mixon also helps provide stability for Burrow.
Mixon also has been a model citizen since being drafted and Cincinnati likes to reward the players they’ve drafted and developed.
The Athletic’s Jay Morrison expects the Bengals to keep a closer eye on Mixon’s workload going forward to ensure he holds up.
He also notes there’s an out in the contract after two years with just $6 million in dead cap.
Mixon was elated to be able to get a deal done: “It was a hell of a feeling, honestly… It’s a great feeling.” (Ben Baby)
He said he thought the Bengals were by far his best fit: “I wanted to be a part of something special… I love our fans. I love my teammates. Upstairs, they definitely value me in a lot of ways that other people probably won’t.” (Baby)
Mixon mentioned the migraines that kept him out of practice recently were legit and not a negotiating ploy. (Baby)
Mixon’s deal includes a $10 million signing bonus, a base salary of $1.3 million in 2020, $8 million in 2021 and 2022, $9.4 million in 2023, and a $9.6 million club-option for 2024. (Ian Rapoport)
Mixon can also earn $500,000 each year in playing time incentives and a $200,000 workout bonus each offseason.
The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes Ravens 2019 fourth-round RB Justice Hill has had a quiet camp but he’s never gotten the sense Hill’s roster spot was in jeopardy. He should have a role as a kickoff returner.
Meanwhile, 2019 fourth-round G Ben Powers is on the wrong side of the roster bubble, per Zrebiec.
Zrebiec mentions Ravens C Matt Skura and third-round DT Justin Madubuike are candidates to start the year on injured reserve and then return sometime after Week 3.
Zrebiec says Chris Board has created some distance for the No. 4 linebacker spot between himself and Otaro Alaka, who is very much on the bubble.
Ravens HC John Harbaugh said they’re monitoring Skura to see if he’ll be able to return Week 1 after the initial expectation being his knee injury would keep him out the first six weeks at least: “We’ll know by next week where he’s at.” (Zrebiec)
Ravens third-round OL Tyre Phillips has put himself in the starting conversation at right guard and could also backup both tackle spots: “He’s a good football player. That’s the main thing. We saw an ability to play guard or tackle. Very smart. He’s got a really good demeanor about him. He doesn’t get down on himself at all. He pushes through it and learns from his mistakes.” (Zrebiec)
Harbaugh is not sure if an undrafted free agent will make the roster and continue Baltimore’s 16-year streak this year. (Zrebiec)