USA TODAY Sports
A.J. Green can't extend his contract until next year, but based on his production and by analyzing some of the contracts of today's top receivers, we can predict what Green may get.
The news that the Chiefs re-signed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to a five-year deal worth $56 million, with $26 million guaranteed, got me thinking about A.J. Green and what we can expect for him when the team's able to extend his contract. Of course, they can't extend his contract until next season, but with what Green has been able to do on the field in his first two seasons leads me to believe he is, without a doubt, one of the top five receivers in the league.
While there's no question that Bowe is talented, he hasn't produced the way that Green has. He hasn't even been close. Green has 2,407 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns over the last two years while Bowe has 1,960 yards and eight touchdowns. Now, the argument could be made that Bowe's lack of production is a product of poor play at the quarterback position and he has had great seasons, especially in 2010.
However, If Green has another big year in 2013, there's no reason to believe that his contract will need to be bigger than Bowe's. How big, though?
Let's take a look at some of the other top-payed wide receivers in the league.
Production over the last two years: 3,645 yards, 21 touchdowns
Contract: Eight years, $150,000,000 (ridiculous, right?)
Total Cap Hit In 2013: $12.2 million
Johnson's contract is loaded with incentives and miscellaneous bonuses and the majority of his base salary comes in the last few years. For example, his base contract in 2019 is $18.25 million. He produces more than any other wide receiver in the league and because of that he deserves the massive contract he signed.
Production over the last two years: 2,090 yards, six touchdowns
Contract: Seven years, $67.8 million
Total Cap Hit in 2013: $14.652 million
Johnson is signed through the 2016 season, but unlike Calvin's contract, his is a little more even year in and year out. He is due to to receive a base salary of $9.5 million in 2013. Johnson's production has slipped because of his health and he's not getting younger. However, as he proved once again in 2012, when he's healthy, he's nearly unstoppable.
Production over the last two years: 2,722 yards, 17 touchdowns
Contract: Five years, $44.8 million
Total Cap Hit In 2013: $9.3 million
Marshall proved again in 2012 that when he's paired with Jay Cutler, he can be a beast, and that's even when the Bears don't have many other receiving options. When his contract is up after the 2014 season he's going to get a much bigger contract, especially if he continues to produce the way he has over the last two years.
Production over the last two years: 2,490 yards, 17 touchdowns
Contract: Five years, $55.5 million
Total Cap Hit in 2013: $3.272 million
Jackson signed a big deal with the Buccaneers before the 2012 season. His contract is fairly even, except for 2013 when his base salary is less than $1 million. Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season and may sign another big contract then, depending on how the next few years go.
Production over the last two years: 2,315 yards, nine touchdowns
Contract: Three years, $17.5 million
Total cap hit in 2013: $7.5 million
Wayne was a bargain for the Colts in 2013. With Andrew Luck behind center, Wayne looked to be back to his old self when he was paired with Peyton Manning. He's set to be a free agent again after the 2014 season and. Considering that he's been in the league since 2001, he may call it quits when he's a free agent again, however, he's obviously still able to play at an extremely high level.
The Bengals won't likely let Green ever get to free agency as they'll plan to extend his contract before he becomes a free agent following the 2014 season. He likely won't get the same kind of contract that Calvin Johnson did, but he could easily end up signing a deal that is comparable to Andre Johnson's, maybe even a little higher, considering how young he is.
It wouldn't be hard to see Green sign a six or seven-year deal worth somewhere around $80 to $90 million.
There's no real question that he's worth it as he's going to continue to be one of the top performing wide receivers in the league. Hopefully the two sides are able to reach a deal.