It doesn’t take a long look around the Bengals receivers room for A.J. Green to realize how old he is.
But he also has a clear enough vision of where he wants to end up that he can’t see the end quite yet.
Via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Green is six years older than any other receiver in camp, having just turned 30. But as with most players at milestone ages, he insists he has many years left.
“I ain’t an old man,” Green said. “I’ve always got juice. I’ve had it for a long time. I’m not going anywhere any time soon. . . .
“I feel good. I’m one of the oldest guys, but I run the most of anybody in practice and I feel great. I put a lot into my body on and off the field that really gets me ready for the next day.”
Feeling good, he hopes to add to his resume so that his long-term goal of making the Hall of Fame. There are mitigating factors that could work against him, including the lack of All-Pro honors, or that he’s never led the league in any category or caught 100 passes in a season. The Bengals’ lack of playoff success will also be a factor, as titles clearly help the case of those who want to go to Canton.
But if he keeps his current pace for the next seven years, he’ll reach the top five in receptions and yards and the top seven in touchdowns, which should make a strong case, which he’s eager to attempt.
“I feel great. These last two years is the best my body’s felt in a long time,” he said. “I’ve got six years in me I feel like. A long, long time. I’ll be ready.”
Being a Bengal might be the biggest hurdle he’ll have to clear. He has two years left on his current contract, and while he hasn’t made noise about a new one, it will be interesting to see if he longs for free agency, for another chance to polish his Hall of Fame case elsewhere.