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Bears extend Brandon Marshall; May offer hint to A.J. Green mega-deal

Brandon Marshall just signed another nice extension. A.J. Green is still waiting to get his first one.

Jonathan Daniel

The Chicago bears have announced they've re-signed wide receiver Brandon Marshall to a 3-year, $40-million deal. Marshall had one season left on his current contract for $10 million. He will get $23 million guaranteed with his new deal, according to ESPN. The extension means Marshall now is under contract for four seasons and $40 million.

This comes after a very productive first season under head coach Marc Trestman's new offense in which Marshall caught 100 passes for 1295 yards and 12 touchdowns. His success helped QB Jay Cutler to a new seven-year contract extension, and also helped with the emergence of Alshon Jeffery.

Since the 2007 season with the Denver Broncos, Marshall has 692 receptions for 8,741 yards and 55 touchdowns.

Marshall likely left some money on the table in order to give the Bears room to have he and Cutler signed to their deals while also having enough cap space in the future to re-sign Jeffrey to a deal that will likely pay him like a Top 10-15 receiver.

So how does this affect the Cincinnati Bengals' negotiations with A.J. Green?

As of now, the two sides are looking at a mega-deal that will likely make him one of the two or three highest-paid receivers in the NFL. Marshall is now getting an average of $10 million per season, and he's regarded as a Top-5 receiver in the NFL.

He's producing at a similar rate as Green, and Marshall's 299 receptions for 4,017 yards over the past three years tops Green's 260 for 3,833 in his first three seasons. Both players have caught 29 touchdowns.

If Marshall is getting $10 million per season while playing at arguably the same level as Green, then one has to think, though younger by five years, the 25-year-old Green won't get a deal that pays him annual much higher than $10 million.

Because Green was a Top 10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Bengals were able to exercise an option year will pay him at the level of the transition tag ($10.176 million for wide receivers) in 2015. In 2016, they can use the franchise tag to hold him in place while working out a long-term deal.

Still, the belief is the two sides want a new deal soon, and they'll try to get one done this year, but don't anticipate it will go into the 2015 season. At this point, how quickly a deal gets done probably depends on how soon Green wants to get his first big deal and the immediate pay it brings with it.

As of now, Green is scheduled to make $3.06 million in 2014.