Less than two weeks ago, Bengals receiver A.J. Green told Coley Harvey of ESPN.com that he expected to play out the 2015 season on his current contract, and likely wouldn’t discuss a new deal with the Bengals until at least 2016. However, as of late, Green has sounded a little more optimistic, telling Fox10 that he expects the team to get something done at some point.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Green’s increased optimism regarding a new contract likely stems from the fact that the Bengals have told him he’s their top priority. Rapoport suggests that the club wants to get Green locked up this year, rather than letting the situation drag out.
When Green made his comments earlier this month, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas remained unsigned, and it wasn’t clear if either of the franchised wideouts would ink a long-term deal this year. Now that both players are under contract on similar five-year, $70MM extensions, there’s an obvious point of reference for Green and the Bengals, which has perhaps increased the club’s motivation to work something out.
Cincinnati will have a number of players eligible for unrestricted free agency next winter, including both of their starting offensive tackles – Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith – along with defensive backs Leon Hall and Reggie Nelson. Signing Green to an extension now would give the Bengals a better idea of how much cap flexibility it has for those other potential free agents when the time comes.