The Bengals didn’t trade receiver A.J. Green. He continues to be in the last year of his second contract with the team. He now wants a third contract.
Via Paul Dehner of TheAthletic.com, Green said Wednesday that he hopes to sign a long-term contract to remain in Cincinnati.
It won’t be cheap for the Bengals, who are extremely careful with money. Given that his cap number for 2019 stands at $15.176 million, it would cost the Bengals $18.2 million, at a minimum, to apply the franchise tag for 2020.
Green doesn’t want to be tagged, but the reality is that $18.2 million will be the starting point for a long-term deal. Given that Falcons receiver Julio Jones has pushed the market to $22 million per year, the starting point could be more than $18.2 million.
It’s hard to envision the Bengals making that investment, especially since Green missed seven games in 2018 and he has missed eight games and counting in 2019. And since the Bengals don’t like to pay big money.
Still, Green said that the two sides are talking. If he truly wants to remain in Cincinnati, he has every right to do a team-friendly deal. But if he wants to get maximum compensation, he may have to be willing to hit the open market.