The Cincinnati Bengals have exercised the fifth-year option on Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, and now it's time for the next order of business.
The Bengals will now look to re-sign quarterback Andy Dalton to a manageable deal that ensures he remains the team's starting QB for the foreseeable future.
But as they do that, they'll also be working on a new deal for Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict:
Burfict is set to hit restricted free agency in 2015, so they could theoretically wait and tender him at the highest level in '15 to ensure he's a Bengal at least through the '15 season, though they'd prefer to get a long-term deal done.
Per the rules regarding restricted free agents, the Bengals have three qualifying levels of compensation that they can apply.
The maximum tender has a compensation level $3.113 million, which includes a first-round pick if another team signs that player to another offer sheet and the Bengals refuse to match.
The second-round tender has a compensation level of $2.187 million with a second-round pick.
The final tender is the original round compensation with a $1.431 million tender. Original round is based on where that player was originally drafted into the NFL -- if he's an undrafted free agent, the original team receives no compensation if that players signs an offer sheet and the original team doesn't match.
At the end of the day, the Bengals want to get Burfict locked-up now to ensure he doesn't have to focus on a new deal and can turn all of his attention to football in 2014 and beyond.