Quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green were among the Bengals in attendance today for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason workout program, and Cincinnati’s offensive leaders were each asked about their contract situations. Although both players are heading into contract years, the club holds a fifth-year option on Green for 2015, while Dalton is eligible for unrestricted free agency less than a year from now.
Still, the Bengals’ signal-caller expects to remain in Cincinnati far beyond ’14, as he told reporters today. And it sounds as if the team is negotiating longer-term contracts with both players. Here are a few noteworthy quotes from Dalton, Green, and other Bengals, via ESPN.com’s Coley Harvey, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, and Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Sulia link)….
Dalton, on whether he feels he’s the face of the Bengals’ franchise:
“I do. Everything that [coach] Marvin [Lewis] has said, [offensive coordinator] Hue [Jackson] has said, and what everybody here has told me is that, and they’ve told everybody that. So I’m confident with that. I hope to spend a lot of my career here.”
“From everything they’ve told me, they’re not bringing in anybody to compete.”
Dalton, on the value of quarterbacks for NFL franchises:
“It’s a quarterback-driven league, so quarterbacks get rewarded a lot of money. For a lot of these quarterbacks, if you’re the quarterback of the team, you’re the face of the franchise. So these teams obviously believe in their guy and they’re going to pay him that way.”
Dalton, on potentially playing out the final year of his contract without an extension:
“There’s obviously some risk when that goes on, but I am confident in everything that I have been able to do and what I am going to do this year. If it comes to that then it comes to that but I think both sides want to get it done. So, hopefully [an extension] happens.”
Green, on his own contract situation:
“I don’t pay attention to that stuff. I’m still under contract. Like I say, my body of work speaks for itself. Whenever the time’s right, it’s right. That’s one thing I don’t get involved with. I just go out there and play the game and whatever happens, happens.”
Defensive leader Domata Peko on the possibility of the Bengals locking up key players:
“Andy, A.J. and Vontaze [Burfict], man, they deserve to be paid. I can’t wait to see when they sign their deals. It’ll be awesome. That’s good for our team because they’re a big part of our team and we just want to make sure we keep those guys locked down because they’re a hell of a few players.”