Bengals owner Mike Brown wrote a letter to fans to discuss the selection of Joe Mixon. Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals made possibly the least surprising move of the 2017 NFL Draft when they decided they would be the ones to accept the risk associated with drafting Joe Mixon. Now, the team’s owner is asking fans to give the former Oklahoma running back a chance.

In a letter he penned to Bengals fans by way of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals owner Mike Brown acknowledged Mixon’s horrific act of punching a woman in the face back in 2014. Brown referred to the incident as a “terrible thing,” but he explained that Mixon and the victim are both moving on with their lives.

“Joe and this young woman recently met in person, came to terms with the incident, and they agreed to resolve their differences so they could move forward with their lives,” Brown wrote. “While the circumstances that led up to the incident are unclear – what is clear is that it is unacceptable for a man to strike a woman.”

That seems awfully convenient for Mixon. However, Brown believes the 20-year-old has been punished enough.

“Since the incident three years ago, Joe was suspended by the football team, pleaded guilty in court, and accepted the consequences of his actions,” he wrote. “He later went on to become a good citizen in Norman, a popular teammate, a player respected by his coaches, and one of the most talented players in college football.

“In making our decision, we took a risk. In this case, the risk has an upside as well as a downside. We believe Joe has put this behind him and that he can turn into the player and community member that creates a plus for Cincinnati.”

While the 2014 incident is the one that has rightfully received the most attention, Brown made no mention of Mixon’s suspension last season that stemmed from an altercation with a parking attendant. There was also an allegation that Mixon hit a female when he was in high school, though the allegation was later recanted.

Brown is the same owner who continues to support Pacman Jones through all of his off-field issues, so you almost expected the Bengals to pick Mixon. Even if Mixon stays out of trouble during his NFL career, there are more than a few people who feel he didn’t deserve a chance in the first place.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Joe Mixon
TEAMS: Cincinnati Bengals
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