CINCINNATI — The Bengals are hoping to sign Joe Mixon to a long-term contract before the start of the season.
The 2017 second-round pick has topped the 1,100-yard rushing mark in each of the past two seasons.
The running back market changed earlier this month when the Titans signed Derrick Henry to a four-year, $50 million contract.
Bengals analyst Dave Lapham would give Mixon an extension that is comparable with Henry's deal.
"Yes, I would. I'd give Joe Mixon a similar deal," Lapham told Dan Hoard on the Bengals Booth Podcast. "Joe, obviously, was a huge, huge factor in the second half of the season last year. Without A.J. (Green) around and not having the passing attack they had and knowing that Joe Mixon was going to run the football — he still was one of the top rushers in the National Football League the last eight games of the season. Obviously he's a lightning rod for the rest of the team. Guys gravitate toward him. They feed off his energy. He provides a lot of energy. He's a hell of a player. I would. I'd ink him if I could."
Mixon, 24, has been one of the Bengals' most consistent players over the past two seasons. He's one of the rare running backs that can play at a high level on all three downs.
The coaching staff needs to give Mixon a bigger role in the passing game. He has the talent to have 50-60 receptions in a season. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow had plenty of success throwing to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire at LSU.
Both Hoard and Lapham agreed that a contract worth anywhere from $10-$12 million per season makes sense for Mixon and the Bengals.
"Mixon is in the upper tier of backs in the National Football League," Lapham said. "Joe won't hesitate to bloody his nose in pass protection either. He's a complete back for sure."
Listen to their entire conversation on the Bengals Booth Podcast below: