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CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor remained supportive of running back Joe Mixon‘s standing on the roster amid speculation about his future.

“His future is here with the team,” Taylor said in his post-draft news conference on Saturday. “I like Joe Mixon.”

Earlier in the offseason, Bengals executives indicated Mixon’s status could be uncertain as the team looks to build its roster. Entering his seventh year, Mixon represents a $12.8 million hit against the salary cap and is coming off a down season following a Pro Bowl appearance in 2021.

Cincinnati bolstered its backfield on Day 3 of this year’s draft. The Bengals selected Illinois’ Chase Brown in the fifth round, adding to a group that includes Mixon, Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans. The Bengals lost Samaje Perine, their No. 2 running back the past two seasons, to the Denver Broncos in free agency.

Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan praised the current group that Brown will be joining.

“I knew we needed to add one at some point during the draft and wasn’t really sure what that was going to look like, or where that was going to be,” Callahan said Saturday. “Obviously, had high regard for Chase kind of all the way through the process. It turns out he was there at the right spot for us.”

Mixon is participating with the team during voluntary workouts. While he declined to comment last week, he expressed excitement to be entering his seventh year with the team. Mixon has also been charged in a misdemeanor menacing case in which he allegedly pointed a gun at a woman while driving, according to local reports and police records. Taylor said the team will let the legal process unfold.

Brown, a Doak Walker Award finalist who rushed for 1,643 yards and had 13 total touchdowns last season, said he was excited to join Mixon and the Bengals.

“They have a great running back there right now, Joe Mixon, who I grew up watching and watched a lot through college,” Brown told local reporters on Saturday. “So I’m excited to come in, learn from him, learn from the coaching staff and produce on Sundays.”

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Bengals’ Joe Mixon has support of Zac Taylor amid uncertain future