Discussing A.J. Green's future isn't necessarily on Cincinnati's day-planner just yet. According to Pro Football Talk, negotiations for a long-term contract haven't even begun just yet and we wonder, is that even necessary? Green is signed through 2014, has a fifth-year option that Cincinnati intends to pick up, and then they could the franchise tag on him in 2016. Essentially the Bengals will have Green's rights for another three years.
But as PFT notes, "Green has a strong argument that he deserves the contract now that he didn't get three years ago under a rookie wage scale aimed at preventing busts from sucking millions out of the system."
Green could boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. The former isn't very expensive; the latter would cost $30,000 per day. For that reason, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there. Lewis said so during an interview at the recent league meetings in Orlando. Still, a holdout hasn't been ruled out. The source tells PFT that it’s too early to tell whether that will happen, and that the topic hasn't been discussed yet.
During an interview with local beat writers at the NFL owners meetings last month, Mike Brown doesn't feel pressured to extend Green right now.
"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."
We have a feeling that once Brown works out his approach on a long-term agreement (or not) with Andy Dalton, the team's focus will eventually shift towards Green.
Green is averaging 87 receptions per season with 1,376 yards receiving and 9.7 touchdowns with career-highs in receptions (98) and yards (1,426) last season while tying a career-high 11 touchdowns. Green has also reached the Pro Bowl in each season that he's been in the NFL and been named to the All-Pro team in the past two years.