Mixon was captured on CCTV punching a female Oklahoma student in 2014, an incident that caused some teams to take the talented running back off their draft boards completely.
But the Bengals – who have a history of taking on players with off-field issues – picked Mixon after an exhaustive investigation into his history, head coach Marvin Lewis explained Thursday on Sirius XM.
“A lot of time, a lot of research,” Lewis said, according to Conor Orr of NFL.com. “Time spent with Joe. Time researching people around Joe. Joe’s past in East Bay (California). All those kinds of things that way. His past on campus at Oklahoma since the incident. So, there couldn’t be any other red flags to say, ‘Well, well, maybe…’ No, no, no. It had to be clean, and Joe knows that. He knows going forward, it has to stay clean all the time. He’s lived on the tip of the sword for three years now, and he’s got to continue to probably for the rest of his life.”
After a backlash from anti-domestic violence groups, Bengals owner Mike Brown wrote an open letter, admitting his team took “a risk” on Mixon.
“He’s off the charts talent-wise,” Lewis said. “Big, fast, catch, run, see, smart – and he’s a 20-year-old kid. He’s as smart as a whip. You know, I mean, those things are fun. And I keep reminding everybody, he’s a 20-year-old kid. Keep understanding that. Let Joe continue to grow and develop as we go.”
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.