A.J. Green has “no problem” with franchise tag but hopes for commitment

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On Tuesday, A.J. Green said everything he’s said previously. He said everything he’s supposed to say.

The Bengals receiver surely is sincere in wanting to stay in Cincinnati.

But the truth is: Green has no idea what his future is given his contract expires after this season and he has played only nine games in two seasons.

The Bengals are expected to franchise Green, giving him the one-year tender worth $18 million to keep him off the market if they can’t reach a long-term deal before free agency.

“I have no problem with the franchise [tag],” Green said, via Geoff Hobson of the team website. “I don’t like it, but I’m not a guy that’s going to sit out the whole 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 has not played this season because of torn ligaments in his ankle and is unlikely to play the final two games. He is rehabbing to get ready for 2020.

“Nobody ever pushed me. I’ve felt no pressure to come back and play,” Green said. “But you know this is a business. You never know. This could be my last big deal. I have to make sure everything is right and then we go from there. But I’ll be ready to go.”

The Bengals are 20-41-1 the past four seasons. They qualified for the postseason each of Green’s first five seasons, but he has never experienced a playoff victory.

With only one victory this season, the Bengals likely will have the top pick in the 2020 draft. Either LSU quarterback Joe Burrow or Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert seemingly would rank at the top of their wish list.

“It’s exciting,” Green said. “Where ever the pick is going to be, it’s going be a big effect on our team. You pick that high you’re going to draft a guy that’s going to make an impact on the team at that moment.

“I just want to win at this point in my career. It’s not just about the money. It’s about continuing to build my legacy, and that’s by winning.”

Green trails Chad Johnson’s team records by 150 catches, 1,877 yards and seven touchdowns.

“That was the goal always,” Green said. “To break every receiving record here.”

16 responses to “A.J. Green has “no problem” with franchise tag but hopes for commitment

  1. The Bengals can lose 15 games a year with or without him.

    Putting that large a piece of he Salary Cap into a receiver on such a bad team is dumb … which is why it is likely to happen.

  2. So he took the year off, got paid for it, and is kinda griping about getting tagged? Really?

  3. So I am a AJ fan. But to say the team float that the team may not be committed to you if they franchise you, after you collected your paycheck with not a down played (and as he said, no pressure).. To me, that is them showing that they are committed to you in the biggest way possible. With the $$… Oh and did anyone mention that franchise tag is average of top 5 at your position… AJ have you put up top 5 in a bunch of years..

    I hope he comes back and gets a big contract, plays all 17 games and sets that bengal record next year!

  4. I understand that he’s one of the best player’s in their franchise’s history but they should let him walk. They’re rebuilding right now and him leaving to sign a big money deal somewhere else could net them as high as a 3rd round comp pick in 2021, that could go a long way in helping that team.

  5. Like the comments above it is time to let him walk. They have some young WRs on the roster for Burrow and should look to put that money in protecting their young QB. If Green gets the deal he wants elsewhere they should get a good compensatory pick for a guy that will never be a top WR again.

  6. I’d say they showed some commitment by paying $12M for sitting on the bench all season. The Bengals could have recouped $9M in salary cap by releasing him after shredding his ankle. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and coming off too bad of an injury to go in demanding anything long term.

  7. Nine games in two season. Over 30 and he expects anyone would give him more than a one year deal? He must be new to all of this.

  8. OBP says:
    December 17, 2019 at 4:24 pm
    I understand that he’s one of the best player’s in their franchise’s history but they should let him walk. They’re rebuilding right now and him leaving to sign a big money deal somewhere else could net them as high as a 3rd round comp pick in 2021, that could go a long way in helping that team.

    So why not “Tag” him, then trade him for possibly a 1st or 2nd round pick in 2020 instead of letting him walk for nothing and HOPE you get a 3rd round comp pick in 2021?? There was talk of a team or 2 offering a 1st round pick before the trade deadline. If Mohamed Sanu is worth a 2nd round pick, (That’s what the Pats gave the Falcons), surely A.J. Green would be worth a 1st round pick. Sanu was the 3rd option, (Slot WR) in Cincinnati behind Green and Marvin Jones.

  9. Also, Chad had 66 TD’s with Cincinnati. Green has 63 TD’s with Cincinnati.
    Green only needs 4 TD’s to pass Chad, not 7. If, IF Green played all 16 games
    in 2018 and 2019, he’d already be passed Chad in receptions, yards and TD’s.

    Chad piled up those stats in 151 games where A.J. did it in 111 games.

  10. He’s missed 24 games the last two years. Franchising him for 18 million would be crazy. The Bengals have a lot of missing pieces and need to use that money to rebuild.

  11. Seems hard to believe Green would talk this way about lack of commitment. He’s played 9 of 32 games now. Actually less than that. He went out on his first or second play when he came back from the toe injury. Who in the heck wouldn’t expect their boss to want to see something before handing over another wheel barrel of cash. I love him but understand completely if the team traded him. Bet they’re thinking they should have taken the offer of a first rounder back at the trade deadline now. (If in fact there was a first rounder on the table)

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