Will Bengals remove franchise tender from A.J. Green?

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With no long-term deal between the Bengals and receiver A.J. Green, the 10th-year veteran remains eligible to earn $17.865 million under the one-year franchise tender in 2020. Because he has yet to sign the tender, he can withhold services from training camp and the preseason (if there is one), showing up just before the start of the regular season and earning the full amount of his franchise-player pay.

But there’s an important wrinkle, one that rarely has been an issue since the launch of the franchise tag 27 years ago. Unless and until Green accepts the tender, the Bengals can rescind it.

Rescinding the tender would save $17.865 million in cash and cap space for the Bengals. Given the anticipated lost revenue resulting from football games without fans, Bengals owner Mike Brown surely has at least pondered the possibility of making a move that would result in Green not playing for the Bengals in 2020 — especially since a training-camp injury resulted in him not playing for the Bengals in 2019.

The cash savings would apply this year, and the cap space could be carried over into 2021. If the cap drops dramatically due to the lost revenue in 2020, that extra space could make it much easier for the team to operate next season.

A franchise tender has been rescinded only three times. Philadelphia did it to linebacker Jeremiah Trotter in 2002, the Eagles did it three years later to defensive tackle Corey Simon, and the Panthers did it in 2016 to cornerback Josh Norman. It’s a rare move, but this is a rare season. Money will be lost. The Bengals can save a large chunk of that lost money simply be bidding farewell to Green, seven months or so before they likely otherwise will.

They also could try to trade Green. But which team is in a position to absorb that much of a cash and cap obligation for a guy who turns 32 in 16 days and who didn’t play at all last year due to injury, especially when he can’t be signed to a long-term deal until after the 2020 season ends?

That’s the best argument in favor of Green signing the tender ASAP. If the tender were to be rescinded, would another team pay him $17.865 million this year? And if he were to get $17.865 million for 2020, how many more years would he have to commit to on the back end?

Rescinding the tender definitely would be an unprecedented move. But in an unprecedented year, it’s impossible to rule anything out. Given the amount of uncertainty currently percolating through the football world and the country at large, the $17.865 million becomes a bird in the hand that Green may want to take to the bank, while he can.

21 responses to “Will Bengals remove franchise tender from A.J. Green?

  1. As a Bengals fan I can’t fathom why they would pay him that type of scratch. He has played maybe 20 games the past 4 seasons. Great player in his prime. Sadly that time has passed.

  2. Love AJ, and want him to retire a Bengal, but he has nothing to complain about. He has been paid very well to watch most of the last two years. He clearly could have played the end of last season, and wasn’t asked to. He should sign the tender, show up, and earn an extension.

  3. He doesn’t need the money…. he can EASILY afford to sit back & see what happens….. it’s looking to me that he wants out of there, so he’s doing the smartest thing he can do…. no way anyone would trade for him without getting a 3 year deal to help absorb that initial cap hit & spread it out over the 3 years…..OR his tag gets rescinded & just signs someplace he wants to play for less money as a FA.

  4. I don’t know why it’s a foregone conclusion that Green and the Bengals will part ways following 2020. It’s really no surprise that the two parties didn’t reach a deal on an extension – Green has missed significant time over the past few years, but has always said he wanted to stay in Cincinnati. For the most part, while the Bengals don’t generally give out big guaranteed contracts, they pay their own players pretty well. Green gets $17M to show that he’s healthy and still a top-tier WR, and the Bengals will be happy to do another deal to keep him in stripes.

  5. he should give them a discount for them paying him for basically missing half of the last 4 seasons….
    he should be paid in full for giving his prime to the bengals
    catch 22

  6. If they’re crazy enough to, I hope Gutey is smart, fast, and generous enough to get him in Green Bay.

  7. Given how cheap Mike Brown is I’m surprised he hasn’t rescinded it already.

  8. the smart move would be to rescind the tag immediately, sign the best available free agent or undrafted free agent out there and bank the rest cause 2021 will most likely have a much reduced salary cap. carry over the remainder of his tag for next year. they won’t be missing anything if they do, he never played last year and only 9 games year before. i am sure that there will be
    a few good receivers cut loose before the season starts anyway.

  9. AJ should have signed the tender already and locked in the guaranteed payday. The Bengals need to sign their free agents and draft picks!

  10. This’ll be interesting because it’s the the clash of Mike Brown’s two biggest drivers,money and loyalty, and now added with the assumed growing influence of his daughter.

    Given the most recent example of hanging Andy Dalton out to dry I think it’s more likely than not they rescind the AJ Green tag.

  11. I agree, I don’t see any reason he hasn’t signed the tag, now that the deadline has passed? He can’t negotiate this year; with anyone. He won’t get that much money from any team, if the tag was rescinded. The Covid-19 season will be handled so differently, that holding out until the season starts, has no impact on the team. The biggest reasons to sign now includes his coming off an injury that sidelined him all of the previous season & he is getting older, where more injuries can be expected.

  12. “A franchise tender has been rescinded only three times.”

    “Rescinding the tender definitely would be an unprecedented move.”

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  13. The bungles are not making the playoffs this year or next. The smart move is let him go, bank the cap and cashflor and build for the future.

    Fan revoit? with only 1/2 stadium less that does matter this year. The misaket with using the franchise tag and not the transition. If he had signed, you match of get 3rd comp…

    Imagine the bargins next year with a reduced cap and only you have the cap space to spend…

  14. Start sending a message – players who want to extort their team need to be sent packing. Let them pick up the pieces of their career – but the extortion and selfishness that is displayed in not signing a franchise tender sends a clear message about the kind of man that is here.

  15. The bungles are not making the playoffs this year or next. The smart move is let him go, bank the cap and cashflow and build for the future.

    Fan revoit? with only 1/2 stadium less that does matter this year. The mistake with using the franchise tag and not the transition tag. If he had signed, you match it or get 3rd comp…

    Imagine the bargins next year with a reduced cap and only you have the cap space to spend…

  16. Biggest reason why Bengals will not be rescinding the offer is Joe Burrow. AJ Green was a player that Joe cited, specifically, he was looking forward to working with. Training camps are already going to be a mess. No way the Bengals play games with a rookie QB and their best WR. Green has already said he’ll play under the tag (for $18m, who wouldn’t). This move is related to Joe Burrow’s development. Simple.

  17. You’re also ignoring the fact that rescinding the tag would remove their new franchise QB’s best weapon. It might be worth it to keep him around at that dollar if nothing more than to help in the #1 overall pick’s development.

  18. I think he hasn’t signed yet because he may want to delay showing up at the start of camp to lower injury risks.
    No chance the Bengals pull the deal at his point. Burrow needs a healthy Green and he can show his clone Tee the ropes.

  19. The Bengas were terrible in 2019 because they had no QB and AJ Green was injured.
    With AJ Green healty and a new QB ,Joe Burrow, maybe they can make the playoffs.
    It probably helps Joe Burrow’s development to have some receivers.

    The Bengals tanke din 2019 and got their QB. Tanking 2 years in a row makes you teh Philadelphia 76ers. How has that worked out for them? Was it worth tanking 4 years in a row?

  20. Look at his numbers for the last 3yrs, he’s not worth $17.9mil anymore, too many missed games and when he does play he doesn’t show up half the time!

  21. AJ should do what’s best for him, Bengals should do the same. If he doesn’t sign the tender by the start of training camp the Bengals should withdraw the offer. AJ has something to prove.

    There really is no long term deal anymore in the NFL. The only “long term” is the guaranteed money. AJ’s lack of playing time hurts his chance for a bunch of guaranteed money. I seriously doubt that AJ will get a one year deal worth more than 18 million.

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