The Cincinnati Bengals will have some crucial decisions coming up on key players, and to prepare themselves, they might release running back Joe Mixon in the coming days and weeks.

According to Jay Morrison of The Athletic (per The Spun), the Bengals cutting the running back “feels closer to a certainty than a mere possibility.” If Cincinnati did make the move to release Joe Mixon, it would be in preparation to have enough space for a potential mega-deal with quarterback Joe Burrow.

“Named a captain for the first time in 2022, Mixon brings more juice and energy to the field than anyone on the roster when he gets going,” Morrison writes. “But he struggled to get going for much of 2022, and the Bengals got equal production from Samaje Perine at a much lower cost. Even with Perine hitting free agency, the Bengals can bring him back at a more affordable price and look for a younger back during — or after — the draft.”

If Mixon is released, Cincinnati would save over $7 million in cap space. Combine the money saved with what Morrison wrote about the availability of the running back position, and it looks like Mixon has seen his last days in a Bengals uniform.

Mixon has been productive overall since Cincinnati drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In his career, he has 5,378 yards carrying the football with 40 touchdowns, with 1,763 receiving yards and 10 TDs to go along with it.

In 2022, Mixon had 210 carries for 814 yards and seven touchdowns splitting time with the aforementioned Samaje Perine.