North Notes: Mixon, Browns, OBJ, Vikings

Although Christian McCaffrey landed his extension, the other members of 2017’s loaded running back class remain on rookie deals. The BengalsJoe Mixon resides in this camp. The sides have begun negotiations, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic, who adds the Bengals are preparing for a Mixon holdout if no extension is agreed upon (subscription required). The Bengals are not prepared to pay Mixon on the $16MM-per-year level — the new standard for backs after McCaffrey’s deal — according to Dehner. The team would like to extend him, Dehner adds, just not in that price neighborhood. Cincinnati’s starting back is going into his age-24 season. Mixon’s contract does not contain a fifth-year option; he is set to earn $1.2MM next season.

With the exception of Ezekiel Elliott, the latest run of big-ticket running back contracts has mostly burned teams. Todd Gurley and David Johnson are elsewhere after signing lucrative Rams and Cardinals extensions, respectively, and Le’Veon Bell ($13.1MM AAV) did not fare well in his first Jets season. Despite playing behind shaky offensive lines, Mixon is coming off back-to-back 1,100-yard rushing seasons. The Bengals have he, Giovani Bernard and 2019 draft choice Trayveon Williams under contract.

Here is more from the NFL’s North divisions:

  • A rumor circulated Wednesday connecting the Browns to engaging in Odell Beckham Jr. trade discussions with the Vikings. The rumor indicated the proposed compensation discussed was a package featuring second- and fifth-round picks. Quickly debunking this,’s Mary Kay Cabot reports no such talks occurred (Twitter link). It would be odd to see the Vikings shed Stefon Diggs‘ contract only to add Beckham’s $18MM-AAV deal. Beckham was again mentioned in trade rumors at the end of last season, but the latest Browns regime said the plan is to keep the star wideout for the 2020 season. Beckham’s deal could become a trade asset at some point, with the Giants having eaten all the dead money associated with it.
  • One of many defenders with whom the Browns agreed to one-year contracts, Karl Joseph remains in limbo to a degree. The former Raiders safety suffered a broken foot last season and underwent surgery. However, Joseph has not taken a Browns physical yet, Cabot notes. Joseph is the only member of this Browns free agency class not to have taken his physical, Cabot adds. There are no plans for Joseph to take a physical in the near future, but GM Andrew Berry does not expect this to be an issue that nixes the parties’ $2.5MM agreement.
  • It’s been a while since the Packers have authorized a major running back extension, but they are discussing a new deal with Aaron Jones.
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17 comments on “North Notes: Mixon, Browns, OBJ, Vikings

  1. king beas

    Don’t act like cmc deal is the new standard for rbs. Rbs all offseason got 8 mil or less on their deals just cause the best in the league got 16 doesn’t mean it’s going to become a thing

    • crosseyedlemon

      McCaffrey’s contract most certainly is the benchmark that the next group of elite RBs will use when their contract negotiations come up. It’s the same for every position.

      • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

        It’s not the “same” at every position. There’s a certain QB out there that’s not elite but is angling to be the highest paid QB in the NFL. I’m not saying any names….

        • crosseyedlemon

          You just proved my point. The elite players (and a few who mistakenly think they are) all look at what the top salary being paid for their position is and then instruct their agents to shoot for something in that range.

      • Daniel

        Benchmark…..elite? If that is what McCaffrey is, then there are no other elite RB’s. The guy is a legitimate beast, one in a decade kinda guy, not a benchmark. And they still overpaid him. RB’s are tops 8 to 10.

        • kylewait89

          Except he has a future as a slot receiver so his shelf life is not that of normal running backs. They paid for his prime RB years and he’ll likely earn it. And when his next contract is up and he’s pushing 30, he’ll have to negotiate either as a slot receiver or a RB on the wrong side. I won’t say he’s definitely worth it but they paid him at the right time rather than wrong.

        • crosseyedlemon

          @ Daniel. The salaries indicate the benchmark and Mac is not the only elite RB out there. Bell could be right there with him if he hadn’t been so dumb as to join the Jets.

  2. Whateverworks77

    The Joseph deal was announced as official a day or two ago regardless of the physical. Get your facts straight. If he doesnt pass it, he is getting about 500k guaranteed. If he does, the balance of the 1 yr deal kicks in.

    • kylewait89

      They said his contract is in limbo because of the physical. It also says his contract was agreed to in the same snippet. Try not to be the guy that tries to correct the smallest things and then be wrong.

  3. phillyballers

    Mixon holdout? Dude is lucky the team that takes every bad character player drafted him.

    • Breezy

      But he’s unlucky that Mike Brown is who he’s going to have to negotiate with for a new contract.

  4. Daniel

    Benchmark…..elite? If that is what McCaffrey is, then there are no other elite RB’s. The guy is a legitimate beast, one in a decade kinda guy, not a benchmark. And they still overpaid him. RB’s are tops 8 to 10.

  5. Simmons>Russ

    A 2nd and a 5th for OBJ, man I know he’s a diva, I know 18mil ain’t cheap but that’s a bargain.

    Philly Eagles, LV Raiders and Miami Dolphins should all be interested.

    Particularly the Dolphins who have 3 first and some cap space. Give up a first for OBJ and get back a 6th.

    Plus how bad does this make the Texans look again. They traded away Hopkins for a second, then brought in cooks for a second when they could’ve either paid to keep Hopkins or traded a second for OBJ

    • Simmons>Russ

      Raiders would be a great fit.
      Swap Tyrell Williams and a third.
      Browns get a secondary WR to play with Landry and get a good pick.

      Raiders with their 2 first can select a CB early (CJ Henderson) and WR with the second pick (Henry Ruggs or Justin Jefferson)

  6. Whateverworks77

    All of OBJ guarantees are paid out, no dead money left and he gets 14.25 this year. Nowhere ckose to 18 AAV left on deal per this report above.

  7. You usually don’t trade away talent, you trade away a headache. The Steelers are now geniuses for getting what they did for AB.

  8. Chris

    I am happy Joe Mixon has been able to turn his life around. Many people condemned him (rightfully so honestly) for his actions in college but he’s been able to become a good pro

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