Bengals sign running back Joe Mixon to 4-year extension

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September 2, 2020 4:39 PM

Running back Joe Mixon signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension through the 2024 season on Wednesday, keeping him with a Cincinnati Bengals team that took a chance on him.

The Bengals drafted Mixon in the second round in 2017 out of Oklahoma, where he was suspended for punching a woman in the face. The Bengals drew a backlash with the choice, prompting owner Mike Brown to acknowledge they were “taking a risk” on Mixon because he's so talented.

Mixon has avoided trouble and emerged as one of the NFL's top running backs. He was entering the final season on his original contract.

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Mixon has run for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons in spite of an offensive line that struggled to open holes. He's only the fifth Bengals back with multiple 1,000-yard seasons, joining Corey Dillon, Cedric Benson, James Brooks and Rudi Johnson.

Mixon will be a focus of the offense with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow moving into a starting role with limited practice time and no preseason games. The Bengals took Burrow first overall in the draft after finishing 2-14, matching the worst mark in franchise history.

The Bengals have been unable to reach agreement on a long-term extension for receiver A.J. Green, who returns this season on the franchise tag.

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