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It's Time to Move On from Joe Mixon

Photo Credit: Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s time for the Cincinnati Bengals to part ways with Joe Mixon. Yes, I confess that this is a little reactionary. I don’t care. The Bengals have come too far - and have far too much to lose - to let this simmering catastrophe fester for one more day.

A teenager was shot in the foot near Joe Mixon’s house on March 6. The kids were playing NERF wars. Somebody else, apparently, wanted to join in with a real gun. Authorities maintain that Mixon is not a suspect. Great. That doesn't mean he’s innocent.

In all likelihood, Mixon had nothing to do with the shooting. It’s possible he wasn’t even there at the time. Whatever. That’s all semantics at this point. There’s a trend here though, and the Bengals need to nip this in the bud - and fast.

When the Bengals first drafted Mixon in the second round back in 2017, I wasn’t a fan of the pick. During his time at the University of Oklahoma, Mixon punched a female student hard enough to break four bones in her face that required surgery to repair. It was a sickening story, and the corresponding video was atrocious to watch. He felt like such a “Bengals pick,” and that’s why I was against it so strongly. But the Bengals wanted to get value with their second-round pick, and because he was considered a first-round prospect by most draft pundits, Mixon was just that.

When he arrived, Mixon was joining a long tradition of Bengals troublemakers. Adam "Pacman" Jones, Cedric Benson, Chris Henry, Odell Thurman, A.J. Nicholson, Reggie McNeal, Robert Sands, Vontaze Burfict…thankfully, the list hasn’t been growing of late - that is, until now. And to his credit, Mixon seemingly kept himself out of trouble after making his way to the NFL. Like everybody else, I bought it. I thought Mixon had turned his life around and really, truly, honestly become a better person. Now, however, it feels like Bengals fans have been duped.

If this was a one-off incident, maybe we could move past it. But it’s not. This is Mixon’s third strike, even if he might have had a pinch-hitter in this instance. Strike one was breaking a female student’s face with a brutal punch. Strike two happened this past January, when a warrant was issued for Mixon’s arrest after he was alleged to have pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to shoot her in the face. Now, a teenager was shot by someone in Mixon’s household. Strike three, you’re out.

It’s an absolute shame. But maybe we were foolish for trusting that someone that had the capacity to smash in somebody’s face was capable of true change. Maybe it’s our fault for believing that someone who threatens to kill people could have a future in Cincinnati. Maybe it’s our fault for having faith in someone who surrounds himself with people who might just shoot a teenager for no good reason. At this point, though, it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s time to move on.

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