Extension Candidate: Bengals WR A.J. Green

As one of the league’s most feared wide receivers, an extension for A.J. Green should be fairly simple. Unfortunately, after yet another injury-shortened season, the negotiations figure to be a bit complicated. 

On the plus side, Bengals owner Mike Brown has indicated that he wants Green to remain in Cincinnati on a new deal.

Oh, I think he’s a proven commodity, isn’t he?,” Brown said in March. “The price range for him will be something we can figure out, it will come together. It’s true with anyone, if they suddenly get an injury..it reduces them. Well that changes the equation, but I never plan on that happening. I like to think that won’t happen. If A.J. is healthy, he’s as good a receiver as anybody in the league.”

Ditto for Green:

Cincinnati is home for me,” Green said recently. “I’ve been here nine years. This is home as much as South Carolina. All I know is Cincinnati. I can’t see myself playing anywhere else or playing in a different city. Hopefully I can be here for a couple more years, so we’ll see on that part.”

Will Green have himself a fat new contract before or soon after his 31st birthday in July? That may depend on his willingness to accept a bit of a hometown discount.

Green has missed 13 games due to injury over the past three seasons and the Bengals, historically, have not been big spenders. They’ve also recently extended teammates Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, so their flexibility is somewhat limited.

Green finished out the 2018 season with just 46 catches for 694 yards and six touchdowns, but when his nine-game season is adjusted for 16 games, those numbers are right in line with his career 75/1,113/8 average. It’s also worth noting that ’18 was only Green’s second season to fall shy of the 1,000-yard mark. The only other time that happened was in 2016, when he came just 36 yards shy, despite playing in just ten games.

Ultimately, a new deal for Green should put him right around Odell Beckham Jr.’s $18MM average annual value, particularly if fellow receivers Julio Jones and Michael Thomas ink their next deals first. Of course, Green’s deal will be shorter in length than OBJs, or, at the very least, have a much lighter load of guarantees beyond Year 2.

For now, Green is set to enter the final season of his four-year, $60MM contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Extension Candidate: Bengals WR A.J. Green

  1. Breezy

    AJ must love that Skyline chili, because there’s no way he’s sticking around for the organization.

  2. joeshmoe11

    Hey Zach- show me where the Bengals aren’t big spenders? Same old idiotic narrative; they spend more actual dollars than nearly every team annually because they don’t have dead money taking up space. Do your research

      • joeshmoe11

        Green’s last contact. Dunlap 2x. Atkins 2x. Kirkpatrick. EVERYBODY said Dalton was overpaid on his last deal. Burfict. Bernard. Glenn is highly paid (although signed by Buffalo). Notice a trend?? They sign their own and for top dollar. They sign because they’re going to get almost every penny in their deal. But don’t let facts destroy their rep

        • crosseyedlemon

          So your upset at Zach and want to set the record straight that the Bengal players are well paid for the dismal results they produce? I have a feeling Mike Brown won’t be asking you to join the PR team.

          • joeshmoe11

            5 straight playoffs with that core is dismal? Last few years have been mediocre but, short of Vontaze, those players have all performed well. I get it, everyone craps on the Bengals but try being a bit subjective

  3. jjabrony

    Trade him while he still has value. Why pay a guy to play on a team going nowhere…it’s tanking time for the Bengals

    • roddy1018

      I say the same. Not only will his last few years be wasted on a bad team, but he is an injury waiting to happen.

  4. washington_bonercats

    I often wonder how much better AJ would be if he didn’t have to deal with Dalton his whole career

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