CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals are making a big move at running back.

Longtime starter Joe Mixon was released and will be replaced by former Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Monday night.

Moss and Cincinnati agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $8 million, including a $4.525 million payout in year one, a source told Schefter. That move prompted Mixon's release.

Mixon, a second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2017, had been the Bengals' primary running back for the past seven seasons. In 2023, he rushed for 1,034 yards and 9 touchdowns and totaled 1,410 total yards from scrimmage.

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Moss, 26, is coming off a breakout season. He proved to be a capable stand-in to power the Colts' running game when called upon during two separate absences for All-Pro back Jonathan Taylor.

After suffering a broken arm during summer practices, Moss began the season as the Colts' starting back while Taylor was on the physically unable to perform list, getting the kind of opportunities he rarely enjoyed during two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Moss has registered each of his top three rushing performances since being traded to the Colts in 2022, including a career best 165-yard effort against the Tennessee Titans last October.

With Taylor out of the lineup, Moss' hot start made him the NFL's third-leading rusher through five weeks. He finished with 794 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns in 14 games, while missing two games late in the season with a shoulder injury. He also flashed his ability as a receiver, catching a career-high 27 passes for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Colts' decision to give Taylor a long-term, $42 million extension last season directly impacted Moss' future due to just how much more the Colts would invest at running back.

A 2020 third-round pick from Utah, Moss has averaged 4.3 yards per carry over his career while rushing for 2,076 yards and scoring 18 total touchdowns with the Colts and Bills.

Last July, Mixon and the Bengals agreed to an amended contract that reduced his salary and salary cap charge for the 2023 season. Mixon's current deal also included a $3 million roster bonus due March 18, which served as an unofficial deadline for Cincinnati to take action on his contract.

In seven seasons with the Bengals, Mixon started in 88 of his 97 appearances. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2021, had four 1,000-yard rushing seasons and threw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl LVI loss that capped Cincinnati's best postseason run in more than three decades.

Moss will be looking to bolster a Bengals rushing attack that lacked explosiveness last season. Before Week 18, when Cincinnati was eliminated from playoff contention, the Bengals ranked 27th in the NFL in running back carries that went for 12 or more yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information. An explosive running game that the Bengals wanted at the beginning of the season never materialized.

In 2023, Mixon and Moss had nearly identical rates of carries for 10 or more yards, per ESPN Stats & Information (10.5% for Mixon compared to 10.4% for Moss). But the $5.8 million in cap savings the Bengals will gain by cutting Mixon will offset Moss' first-year salary of $4.525 million.

ESPN's Stephen Holder contributed to this report.