Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green signed a four-year deal worth $19.688 million as the team's No. 4 overall draft pick during the 2011 NFL draft.
The deal, fully guaranteed with a base-salary of over $3 million in 2014, will expire after next season if the Bengals decide not to pick up a fifth-year option. All contracts signed by first-rounders since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which went into affect in 2011, have a fifth-year club option tied to their rookie deals.
The deadline for the Cincinnati Bengals to pull the fifth-year club option is May 3. Since Green is a top-ten selection, the fifth-year will cost the Bengals the price of a one-year transition tag (the average of the highest ten players at wide receiver).
Last year, the transition tag for a wide receiver was a fully guaranteed $8.9 million. Those numbers aren't generally set until late February or early March.
Also part of the existing collective bargaining agreement is that teams aren't allowed to negotiate with drafted rookies until after their third season concludes. The Bengals are allowed to negotiate an extension with Green now that they've entered the offseason.
Green isn't any rush, telling reporters on the Monday after Cincinnati's postseason departure, "I'll just play it by ear. My body of work speaks for itself. Whatever they want."
Green finished the season with a career-high 98 receptions and 1,426 yards receiving, falling 16 yards shy of breaking Cincinnati's single-season record.