The Cincinnati Bengals have some tough decisions to make this offseason, but you wouldn't know it listening to the players.
In the 2011 NFL Draft, wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton were drafted by the rebuilding Bengals, and their impacts were immediately felt. Since then, the two have been joined at the hip. Playing in 50 of a possible 51 games together (including playoffs) while leading Cincinnati to its most successful three-year stretch in franchise history.
Green doesn't know what it's like to have another quality QB throwing to him for any significant amount of time (maybe Matthew Stafford at Georgia), and his support for Dalton has been clear throughout the offseason.
Green came into the NFL with Dalton, and he wants to keep growing and winning more with Dalton.
"We came in together. That’s my guy. He helped me where I am," Green said, via Bengals.com I helped him and we took the Bengals to a different level. The Bengals were losing a lot before we came. I feel like we turned it around."A lot of people give him crap about not winning a playoff game, but we’ve made the playoffs the last three seasons. We’ve won 10 or more games (twice). Playoff games…we’re still young. I feel like we’re going to win them, it just takes time."
As for getting an extension done for Dalton, Green is confident it's coming soon.
"I know they know he’s the guy…I feel like they’re going to get something done before the season starts."
Green realizes that not only Dalton, but he and everyone else have to play better in the postseason.
Green went in the first round of the 2011 draft and Dalton followed him in the second round, but because he was a top-10 pick, Cincinnati was able to exercise a $10.5 million option on Green for the fifth year in 2015 this offseason.
That means Dalton will get a new deal before Green, but he's still happy for his teammate.
"I think I’m on the backburner just because of the option. That’s fine with me," Green said. "I don’t even look at it like that. I just go out there and play and my time will come.
"It’s not surprising. Teams always want to wait," he said. "I’m fine with my option and my $10 million. I’ll take it."
Everyone makes it sound as though the Bengals are facing a tough decision as to whether Dalton should be re-signed or not. Listening to Green, it seems like there's no question Dalton should be the guy who's throwing him passes for the foreseeable future.