While long-term contract talks for star receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant go down to the wire, with possible holdouts looming, another Pro Bowl wideout is content to play the 2015 season without a new deal in place. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Conor Orr of NFL.com), A.J. Green doesn’t intend to sign an extension prior to the season, opting instead to play out the final year of his current contract.
It isn’t a real surprise that Green and the Bengals would decide to shelve extension discussions until after the season, considering there isn’t as much urgency to get something done as there is for the Broncos and Cowboys with their own star receivers. Since Green is currently playing on the fifth-year option that came attached to his rookie deal, the Bengals will have the option of using the franchise tag on him for the first time in 2016.
Additionally, Green, who turns 27 later this month, didn’t seem anxious to finalize a long-term pact with the team when he addressed the issue last week, indicting that he didn’t plan to hold out and wasn’t preoccupied with thoughts about his contract.
“I don’t get into all the ‘I need a contract’ stuff,'” Green told Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. “I’m not here for money. I’m not broke. So I’m fine. I can wait until the end of the year to get a contract, but I know that time is coming.”
By playing out the final year of his contract, Green will earn a base salary of $10.176MM before potentially returning to the negotiating table in 2016. Waiting on a new deal would also allow Green and the Bengals to see if other top wideouts – like Thomas, Bryant, and Atlanta’s Julio Jones – ink new contracts of their own in the meantime, perhaps giving the two sides a clearer idea of what the market looks like.