The drafting of RB Joe Mixon was a controversial one for the Cincinnati Bengals. Here is a perspective of Mixon’s personal mission to overcome his past.
Within the last decade, the NFL has had an interesting relationship with players compensating for their inappropriate actions off the field. Its become an essential protocol now for league personnel to craft better ways to prevent these spoiled instances from happening, but it hasn’t seemed to stop waves of domestic abuse, drugs, and crime being associated with the Players.
Former University of Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon is just one of the new and unfortunate face of this issue of football players and their forbidden behavior. Sans Mixon being selecting to play at the highest level in football by the Cincinnati Bengals, his perception as a young man is still perceived as of one who is immoral and unmannerly. These typecast come with a reason.
In 2014, Mixon was caught on camera striking a young woman and another incident in 2016 where Mixon verbally abused a parking attendant, added weight to his somewhat infamous reputation. For now, after still producing on the field as a player for OU despite the characterization, Mixon will still try to elude labels and misconceptions before he even dresses up for his first NFL game.
His selection wasn’t met with jeers and excitement. Even with his glossy stats of having over 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns while at OU, fans in Cincinnati are still weary that once again they have welcomed a potential locker room distraction to their team even with him being a rookie. Mixon isn’t the first collegiate RB to carry some type of drama into the professional ranks but now more than ever where more and more of incidents similar to what Mixon did are caught on camera, it leaves a discomfort to fans who believe firmly in having a team filled with good characters and leaders.
The irony in this melodramatic case of Mixon’s selection isn’t simply because of Mixon the person, it’s because the team that selected him has a long history of signing players with issues similar if not more heinous than Mixon’s.
Considering that since the Bengals, who are in their 14th season under the direction of current head coach Marvin Lewis, has housed players that have had numerous incidents off the field since his arrival, it was amusing that the Bengals and Lewis have and will take a chance on a player such as Mixon.
If anybody can be a breasted in what might can happen during Mixon’s time in Cincy, it will be Lewis. It was even at one point during his 3rd year of coaching Lewis had 9 players to be arrested during the season.
A decision to choose Mixon should come as no surprise to NFL and Bengal fans alike. In 2010, When Mixon was just a freshman in High School in Oakley, CA, the Bengals were notoriously judged for obtaining the contract rights for Adam “Pacman” Jones, a player who at one point was suspended for his frequent arguments with police (and still continues to be involved in these scenarios) and disorderly conduct in public venues.
The team that Mixon will play for will have to continue deal with their rep of being a haven for troubled players, but if it could help them get over a hump of being winless in their last seven playoff games then what really could be the risk?