Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon is no stranger to off-the-field issues, and now the talented back could face a potential suspension handed down by the NFL. Mixon has dealt with previous problems, including his time at the University of Oklahoma. The off-the-field concerns led to many NFL teams bypassing the versatile talent, which allowed the Bengals to select the Sooners’ back with their second-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Before considering the impact the Bengals back will have on the team in 2023, it’s critical to know everything about his legal woes and explore whether Mixon will face a suspension.
Will Joe Mixon Get a Suspension?
The situation around Mixon remains cloudy, but the NFL has a track record for how they traditionally handle off-the-field concerns. The league allows the legal system to play out before it weighs in and hands down any ruling, including a potential suspension.
Mixon’s current trial begins today (Aug. 14) with the jury selection process. Mixon pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of aggravated menacing stemming from an incident on Jan. 21, where he was accused of pointing a gun at a woman and threatening her.
The victim accuses Mixon of saying, “You should be popped in the face. I should shoot you. The police can’t get me.” The victim also states Mixon had “road rage” during the incident.
Reportedly, the Cincinnati Police Department mishandled the arrest warrant procedure in February and later refiled the charge in April as the police announced they had discovered new evidence. The specifics of the newfound evidence have yet to be detailed.
Is Mixon Facing Another Legal Battle?
Earlier this month, Mixon was sued over an alleged shooting incident of a teenager who lives next door to him. The latest reports suggest the teenagers were engaging in “Nerf Wars” before Lamonte Brewer allegedly shot the teenager in the foot. Brewer has been indicted for having weapons under disability. Since Brewer had a prior gun charge in California, he’s not allowed to possess a firearm in Ohio.
The allegation states that the gun and the bullets came from Mixon’s residence and that Brewer was standing in the Cincinnati RB’s yard at the time of the incident. According to the Hamilton County prosecutor, Mixon was never charged with the teen’s shooting, nor has he ever been considered a suspect. The plaintiff is suing Mixon and Brewer for damages.
With Mixon’s current legal situation and this pending incident, it’s fair to wonder if Commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a suspension as the NFL has attempted to crack down on off-the-field issues. The message from the league office is consistent in the fact that they want the legal process to play out first.
Mixon’s Off-The-Field Issues in College
Mixon ran into issues before his days in the NFL. Considered by many NFL Draft analysts to be one of the most talented backs in the country, Mixon was suspended for an entire season for punching a woman in the face.
The incident marred what could have been a prolific college career at Oklahoma. As a result of the ugly incident, several teams took Mixon off their draft boards.
At the time, the Bengals were notorious for taking a chance on players with character concerns. Over the years, the Bengals’ organization has taken chances on players like Vontaze Burfict, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Chris Henry, Odell Thurman, and others that had character concerns that caused other teams to look another direction.
Unfortunately, for the Cincinnati franchise, these character concerns foreshadowed troubling signs at the NFL level.
Will the Bengals Release Mixon?
Earlier this offseason, reports suggested that Cincinnati could cut Mixon. They did not indicate that the potential release was due to off-the-field issues, more so to do with a salary cap number.
Joe Mixon was likely getting cut already.
Post June 1 numbers- $2 mil dead cap / $10 mil cap savings.
Almost surely has played his last game with the Bengals. May have played his last NFL game too.
— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) February 3, 2023
— NFL Notifications (@NFLNotify) April 19, 2023
Since then, however, Mixon and the team have renegotiated his deal, with the talented back taking less money to remain in Cincinnati. Mixon indicated that he wants to win a Super Bowl with Bengals QB Joe Burrow as his reason for accepting less money.
For now, the Bengals are standing by Mixon.