No surprise here. With hours to go before the franchise tag extension deadline, there’s little optimism that the Bengals and A.J. Green will come to an accord, as ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweets. Green has yet to formally sign his franchise tag, but the expectation is that he will play on it. There will be no holdout, and there will be no extension for the wide receiver – at least, until sometime after the 2020 season.
All along, Green has made it clear that he’ll show up for work, no matter what. That doesn’t mean he’ll be a happy camper, however.
“I have no problem with the franchise (tag). I don’t like it, but I’m not a guy that’s going to sit out the whole year,” Green said late last year. “But at the end of the day, that shows me they’re not committed to me. That’s fine. They have a business they have to run. As the player I have my own business, so if you do that I have to protect myself.”
“If you’re not committed to me long-term, I understand. There are no hard feelings. You have a business to run. All great businesses face difficult decisions. I understand that. For me, I have to make a big decision as well.”
Green, who will turn 32 at the end of the month, missed all of last season and roughly half of his 2018 campaign to injury. Before that, he was a Pro Bowler in each of his first seven NFL seasons. And, in every season in which he’s played at least 13 games, he’s topped 1,000 yards receiving.
Despite his age and injury history, the Bengals applied the one-year, ~$18MM tag to Green to keep him from reaching free agency. Green, meanwhile, wants long-term security at a rate that reflects his past accomplishments. Green didn’t get far in talks with the Bengals this year, but he is “fully healthy” and eager to reassert himself as one of the game’s premier offensive players.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.