NFL Trade Rumors -

Bengals Could Hold Off On Signing WR A.J. Green To A Long-Term Deal

February 4, 2014 Bengals

Mike Sando of ESPN.com (Insider required) expects the Bengals to allow WR A.J. Green to play out the final year of his rookie contract rather negotiate a long-term now that he’s eligible to do so this offseason.

Beyond that, Sando can see them using their franchise tag at some point down the road given that the Bengals are no stranger to approaching free agents this way.

It’s worth noting that the Bengals will have to decide whether or not to pick up Green’s fifth-year option that would pay him an average of the top-25 salaries at his respective position. The deadline for doing so is on March 11.

That means the Bengals could keep Green under team control through the 2016 season by picking up his option in the next few weeks and then using their franchise tag the following years. The downside here is that the option and franchise tag will come with large, fully guaranteed salaries that could complicate their cap situation while a long-term deal would keep him under contract for a long period of time and at lower cap figures for at least the first few years.

Bengals will have to address a number of players in the near future due to their talented roster including QB Andy Dalton, which should be a fascinating situation given that there are some concerns regarding whether or not he’s capable of leading the team to a Super Bowl.

Green, 25, is already in the discussion for the best receiver in the league and is in position to eventually be paid like one.

Here’s a look at the top receiver contracts as of now:

Green should have a good shot at beating Fitzgerald’s contract if he continues to perform at such a high level and stay healthy.

  • Robert Rigsby

    I hope aj signs with a team that has a qb thatcan throw a damn football without over throwing him he could really show his potential! he needs a qb like cam newton!

  • Rick

    As a resident of Cincinnati and an avid follower of the Bengals I highly doubt this scenario. Bengals definitely want to wrap up Green long term. It’s much more likely that the Bengals let Dalton play out his rookie contract before committing mega-dollars to a non-elite QB. A.J. Green is a proven upper echelon player. The jury is still out on Dalton.

    • NFL Trade Rumors

      Both good points Rick. I don’t think there’s really a debate about Green’s value to the team. The article was really just highlighting one writers opinion while trying to illustrate that the Bengals do have options available to them.

    • Robert Rigsby

      if they replace Dalton the bengals could be a sb contender but they are to damn stupid to do it ! ole one and done opie needs to be sent to the browns or Jacksonville or anywhere a qb like opie fits their off.!!

  • Bob R

    “figures for at the a few years”
    … what?

    • NFL Trade Rumors

      I’m very sorry for the mistake Bob, but I do appreciate you pointing this out. The sentence has been corrected.

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