CINCINNATI — Bengals running back Joe Mixon was all smiles on Wednesday and he had plenty of reasons to be happy. He had just finalized a four-year, $48 million extension with the team.
"It was a hell of a feeling, honestly," Mixon said. "It’s a blessing, I waited a long time for it and it’s well deserved. It’s a great feeling."
Mixon has topped the 1,100-yard rushing mark in each of the past two seasons. Despite his success, he has yet to be selected for a Pro Bowl, which is on his list of future goals.
"I want to be the best me and the best guy on the field day in and day out," Mixon said. "Just basically have to shoot for the goals that I haven’t achieved yet – Pro Bowl (and) being MVP. Doing those high-level type things and reaping those rewards. I work hard for it. Everybody else is getting paid also to do things to defend me or block me or whatever the case maybe, but I definitely feel like I’m that type of caliber player and I’m definitely gonna produce like it."
The extension makes Mixon the sixth-highest paid running in the NFL. He's dealt with some bad offensive lines and coaching turnover, but he always wanted to remain in Cincinnati.
"I really didn't want to go anywhere," Mixon said. "I love our fans, I love my teammates and upstairs, they definitely value me in a way that a lot of people won't. Like I said, I wanted to show my loyalty here and finish my career here. Hopefully in a few years I'll be able to have another [contract]."
That loyalty helped both sides get a deal done. The Bengals were adamant about wanting to keep Mixon long-term. They officially accomplished their goal on Wednesday.
The addition of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow could've certainly played a role in Mixon wanting to stay in Cincinnati. The 23-year-old signal-caller has impressed everyone in the building.
"I really don't think he's your typical rookie," Mixon said. "He's definitely going to be a great guy here in this league for years to come, and I hope I can finish my career here with him."
Burrow and Mixon are just two of the many offensive weapons the Bengals hope to utilize this season. With A.J. Green and John Ross back in the fold, this team should score plenty of points.
"This offense is going to be special," Mixon said. "It has a lot of potential to do a lot of special things. We potentially could have a 1,000-yard rusher, three 1,000-yard receivers.
"We just have to go ahead and go out there and put it together. What Zac (Taylor) is building and Brian (Callahan and upstairs are building here [front office] for the offense, it’s going to be very, very explosive and I look forward to it."
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