When the Cincinnati Bengals drafted A.J. Green in the first round of the '11 NFL draft, it was immediately clear that Cincinnati had just replaced one superstar receiver that coveted the spotlight with another, that wants nothing to do with it. Statistics hardly matters. Wins do. Massive contracts? Not a big deal. The Hall of Fame and at least one Super Bowl? Yes. Either way, Green isn't concerned about the money.
That will come.
"I play this game not just because of the money, man," Green said via USA Today. "I play because one day I want to put on that Hall of Fame jacket. Also, I want a Super Bowl. The money is just going to come anyway. But if you're not happy, the money really doesn't mean anything.
"I love to win. I came from a winning program in high school (in Summerville, S.C.), won all the time (at the University of Georgia), and I want to win here, and we're doing that. That next step is trying to take it to the next level."
Per NFL rules, the Bengals weren't allowed to negotiate an extension with Green until the completion of his third season. That four-month window, writes Tom Pelissero, will start Monday when the team can negotiate an extension or "exercise his fifth-year option."
Green is in no rush.
"I'm the first one to say I don't need any money right now," Green said. "I'm not in financial debt or anything like that. I'm the only child. I don't got nobody to take care of. No kids. No nothing. I'm fine."