Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon says Super Bowl aspirations are what led to him taking a pay cut this offseason.

“I see the bigger picture. I see the task at hand and what we’re trying to build, and in order to keep other players here and pieces here, sometimes you have to sacrifice,” Mixon said, according to team reporter Geoff Hobson. “I felt like this year was the year to sacrifice on the Super Bowl team we can potentially be.”

Mixon’s standing with the Bengals was frequently called into question during the offseason before he restructured his contract in July. Mixon’s base salary reportedly dropped under $6 million, though his deal also includes incentives that can bring it back to $8 million.

The 27-year-old noted that he’s eager to reach those incentives.

“We agreed on a number with great compensation this year with the incentives,” Mixon added. “Off my last deal, I feel like they allowed me to work to be able to make that money back. That’s cool. I’ll go work for it.”

Mixon saw a drop in production last season as he tallied 814 rushing yards and 3.9 yards per carry. However, he believes he’ll return to his 2021 form when he played a big role in the Bengals making a Super Bowl appearance.

“Look at the year we went to the Super Bowl. That’s literally what you’ll see this year. If not more. You’ll see more,” he said. “But, I’ve always had a big role in this offense. That will never change. At least while I’m here. But at the same time, I’ll just try to be the best player out there. To help my team win.”

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