The deadline for the Bengals to trigger A.J. Green's fifth-year option will be May 3. The rule, adopted with the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, requires all draft picks to sign four-year contracts with first-rounders having a fifth-year team option built-in.
Players selected in the top-ten will get a number similar to a transition tag (average of the top-ten salaries at that player's respective position). Players selected No. 11 through No. 32 would get a fifth-year number that would average the top-25 salaries at that player's respective position.
Bengals owner/president Mike Brown told reporters on Sunday that the team plans to trigger the fifth-year option.
"A.J. has one difference, you can tender him," said Brown via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That takes a big chunk of money. He'd probably get it anyway. It keeps him on the reservation, he's not going to be leaving. He's going to be here for not one more year but two more years. Even though we haven't tendered him yet our intention is to do that and put ourselves in position to turn to others such as Dalton and we would like to turn to a couple more as well. We would like to get something long term but at least we know with A.J. we have two years. With some of the others we have one year."
The fifth-year option will cost Cincinnati $10.176 million (transition tag number for wide receivers in 2014), of which is fully guaranteed with an injury.
While Cincinnati would like to get a long-term deal done with Green, it's not entirely necessary since he's on the books for two years -- well, once they officially pick up the fifth-year option (which they haven't yet). Anyway, no long-term deal will be made until after quarterback Andy Dalton has his.