Joe Mixon would be an interesting name for the Chiefs backfield

The Cincinnati Bengals are reportedly on the verge of releasing Joe Mixon this spring.

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of an interesting offseason when it comes to the offensive backfield, one that could include a complete reinvention at the position with only Isiach Pacheco staying in the fold. If so, a familiar face from a conference foe could provide a major boost at running back if the Cincinnati Bengals set Joe Mixon free.

On Wednesday, Matthew Berry broke the news that the Bengals are expected to allow both Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon free this offseason to sign with other teams.

While the Chiefs could use a wide receiver as well, it's Mixon who is the most interesting of the veteran playmakers here. That's because the Chiefs could use a major influx of talent at the running back position.

The Cincinnati Bengals are reportedly on the verge of releasing Joe Mixon this spring.

Pacheco is the lead back here and capable of carrying the load, but he had two shoulder surgeries in 2023 alone and had problems staying on the field. Given his violent running style and overall physicality, it's good sense for the Chiefs to think of him as a 1A option and provide another potential lead back in the process given the rigors of a long season.

Beyond Pacheco, the Chiefs are likely going to let Jerick McKinnon leave for another team and it's not far-fetched that he might just retire given his age and injury history. La'Mical Perine and Deneric Prince were fringe roster players last year and should be an afterthought at this stage of roster planning.

That leaves only Clyde Edwards-Helaire from last season and he's ready to hit free agency. Maybe it makes sense to bring him back but honestly he'd likely benefit from a change of scenery to see if his production can take a step forward without the weight of being a team's former first-round selection.

There's potential, then, for the Chiefs to add a couple of running backs to the mix in addition to inviting some level of fringe players back into the mix later this summer. And one of those could be Mixon if the interest is there for the player (and if he's officially released).

While Mixon has logged a lot of NFL miles (over 1,500 carries in 7 NFL seasons), he's still only 27 years old and is fresh off of a season in which he put up another 1,000-yard campaign for the Bengals. He's started 47 games over the last three years, so durability is not a concern here, and he also had 9 scores last year on the ground, showing he can provide a boost at the goal line—a frustrating scenario at times for the Chiefs.

Even more important, Mixon can be a threat to catch the ball as well and had 52 catches a year ago. He's closing in on 300 career catches as well, which means Mixon would provide proven production, experience, and security as a well-rounded back.

As for what the Chiefs can offer, Mixon might have other suitors willing to pay some more, but the market is likely to be somewhat depressed because of the number of other "name" running backs out there—from Austin Ekeler and Tony Pollard to Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs. The addition of Mixon only makes things tougher for everyone else to differentiate themselves, which could help the Chiefs in spending here.

No one is sure what will happen, but after watching Mixon on the other side for the last several years, Chiefs fans know what he brings to the table. Given the state of the backfield, it'd be nice to see him on this side of things.

manual