8:30 AM PT -- The Bengals just released a statement on Joe Mixon's not-guilty verdict, saying they're "pleased that this matter is now behind everyone."
"We look forward to an exciting season with Joe being an important part of the football team," the org. added.
Joe Mixon will head into the 2023 NFL season with his road rage case in the rearview mirror ... the Bengals running back was just found not guilty on Thursday morning.
The tailback had been in court on trial in the case since the start of the week ... and after four days of back-and-forth between prosecutors and Mixon's attorneys -- a judge found him not guilty of misdemeanor aggravated menacing.
Mixon -- wearing a light-colored suit and navy blue tie -- did not take the stand during Thursday's proceedings. He appeared relieved after the judge's ruling was announced.
Joe did not speak with reporters after court ... directing media members to speak with his attorneys instead. One of the lawyers said outside of the courtroom, "We thought it came out the way it should have."
The 27-year-old football player was initially charged in the case back in February ... after a 43-year-old woman alleged he had pulled a gun on her on Jan. 21 and threatened to shoot her over a dispute the two had been having on a roadway in Cincinnati.
The charge was at first dismissed just a couple days after it was filed ... but the case was reopened on April 7 after investigators said they found "new evidence." Mixon pled not guilty to the charge less than two weeks later on April 19.
Mixon is expected to have a huge role for the Bengals this year ... after the team parted ways with his primary backup, Samaje Perine, in the offseason. It's unclear if he's still facing punishment over the criminal case from the NFL despite Thursday's ruling.