Dec 29, 2019; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) reacts after a play against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Back in May, Bengals player personnel director Duke Tobin said that the team was interested in extending RB Joe Mixon, and unsurprisingly, his stance has not changed.

“[Mixon] is an important part of our team,” Tobin said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s a piece that we’d like to get extended and have around here a long time. Typically, our extensions have gotten done during camp at some point.”

As Dragon observes, Tobin’s statement that the team usually extends players during training camp is noteworthy, as it suggests that the team could finalize something with Mixon in the coming weeks. Indeed, WR Tyler Boyd signed his extension shortly before camp opened last year, and Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap got new deals in August 2018.

For now, Mixon is set to play out the 2020 season on the final year of his rookie deal, which would pay him a salary of just $1.2M. Given his importance to the team and his performance to date, that would be a major underpay.

However, the 24-year-old is not necessarily trying to break the bank. Per Dragon’s sources, Mixon is hoping his next deal will land him among the eight highest-paid running backs in the league. That would mean an average annual value of at least $8M, which seems like a reasonable ask.

At present, the Bengals have about $24M of cap room, but with the salary cap set to drop significantly in 2021, any rollover money would be helpful. Still, the team’s cap situation shouldn’t be an obstacle to a Mixon extension.

Mixon’s YPC average dropped to 4.1 last season after a very strong 4.9 mark in 2018, but he didn’t have much talent around him. With A.J. Green back in the fold and Joe Burrow under center, Mixon — who has posted back-to-back seasons with over 1,100 rushing yards — could be in for a big year.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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