For years, Joe Mixon has been an integral part of the Cincinnati Bengals. But the running back's future with the team gets cloudier following a recent statement made by Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin, per Eric Edholm of

“Joe has been a vital part of our team,” Tobin said Tuesday at his NFL Scouting Combine news conference. “He's been a successful part of our team. Again, I'm not gonna predict the offseason because I don't have the answers. In the words of the great Kevin Malone (a character from The Office), ‘I don't know.'”

Joe Mixon, who will be 27 by the time the 2023 NFL season kicks off, can be waived or traded by the Bengals ahead of June 1, which would mean they'd swallow a dead-money hit worth $5.5 million while creating a cap space of nearly $7.3 million. However, cutting or trading the running back after June 1 would only cost the Bengals $2.5 million in dead money while saving more than $10 million in salary cap money.

The Bengals are due to make several big decisions in the offseason, mainly concerning the unrestricted free agents they have on the team. Cincinnati has to be more conscious as well in making future commitments to players, with the looming Joe Burrow extension negotiation in mind.

Selected in the second round (48th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, Joe Mixon has rushed for 5,378 yards and 40 touchdowns across 80 games so far in his pro career. He rushed for 814 yards and seven touchdowns on 210 carries in 2022.