The man in the backfield is Joe Mixon after the Houston Texans trade for him

It's clear the Texans view their Super Bowl window as wide open
Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals
Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Houston Texans may have missed out on Saquon Barkley on Monday. But they may have landed the best possible RB that fits their scheme. Acquiring Joe Mixon from the Cincinnati Bengals before his release became official, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport announced. Cincinnati's return hasn't been announced yet, but Mixon shouldn't be too costly. Houston seemed to be linked to a bunch of RBs in the days/weeks leading up to the tampering period, but the first couple of hours of Free Agency saw two of the top backs go elsewhere.

Mixon is in a contract year and has a base salary of $2.2M for 2024. Yesterday it was reported the Bengals would release Mixon after the signing of Zack Moss. Now with the Free Agent market decreasing as the week goes on, the Texans make sure they land one of the best available RBs before his release becomes official.

Mixon rushed for 1,034 yards last year, scoring nine times. But with the emergence of Chase Brown in the backfield, keeping Mixon on his current contract became tough for Cincinnati to work around. Mixon now figures to be the bell cow in Houston with Dameon Pierce coming on in spurts.

The Bengals backfield now consists of Joe Mixon, Dameon Pierce, JJ Taylor, and Gerrid Doaks. With Devin Singletary departing, and Dare Ogunbawale hitting the open market, the Texans could be in the mix for a cheap RB3, but it's likely nothing that will move the needle to this extent.

After a promising rookie year from Pierce, who rushed for 939 yards and four TDs, there was some optimism that he would continue his success going into 2023. But injuries and the emergence of Devin Singletary derailed that hope. Now, Pierce has a chance to rejuvenate his career behind Joe Mixon and learn from the former Pro Bowler. At just 27 years old, the Texans could give Mixon an extension and keep him around for a couple more years, as he's rushed for 1k+ yards four times in his seven-season career.

It's clear the Texans view their Super Bowl window as wide open and are doing everything they can to build around him. Now, the only position of concern on offense is WR. With the receivers still plentiful, the Texans have enough time to find the right fit.