Source: Texans trading for Bengals RB Joe Mixon

ByDJ Bien-Aime ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 12, 2024

HOUSTON -- In a surprising turn of events, the Cincinnati Bengals are trading running back Joe Mixon to the Houston Texans instead of releasing the veteran back, a source told ESPN on Tuesday.

Mixon was expected to be released after the Bengals reached a deal with free agent running back Zack Moss on Monday.

However, the Texans traded an undisclosed pick to acquire Mixon, who had 1,034 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2023. Monday, the Texans lost their 2023 starting running back when Devin Singletary agreed to a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the New York Giants.

Houston's rushing attack ranked just 28th in yards per game (92.7) in 2023.

Mixon, a second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2017, spent seven seasons with the Bengals, starting 88 of his 97 appearances and making one Pro Bowl (2021). He had four 1,000-yard rushing seasons and threw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl LVI loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Mixon's departure from Cincinnati comes on the heels of a season in which the Bengals' rushing attack lacked explosiveness. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, before Week 18, when Cincinnati was eliminated from playoff contention, the Bengals ranked 27th in the NFL in running back carries that went for 12 or more yards.

Mixon, 27, rushed for 6,412 yards during his Bengals career, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and scoring 49 touchdowns. He also caught 283 passes for 2,139 yards and 14 TDs. He is in the last year of his contract after agreeing to an amended contract this past July. He received a reduced salary and cap charge for the 2023 season. Mixon is due a $3 million roster bonus Monday.

Mixon joins a Texans running back room with Dameon Pierce, who had a promising rookie year in 2022, rushing for 939 yards. But his production dropped precipitously in 2023 when he tallied just 416 yards and was benched in favor of Singletary.

ESPN's Ben Baby contributed to this report.

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