The Cincinnati Bengals exercised the fifth-year option on A.J. Green's rookie contract last April, turning a four-year deal into five years, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement with first-round draft picks. Green will earn $10.176 million in 2015, which is the transition tag level for wide receivers in 2014. His 2015 salary ranks as the sixth-most among all NFL wide receivers:
|WIDE RECEIVER||2015 CASH|
|Larry Fitzgerald||$16.25 million|
|Calvin Johnson||$12.5 million|
|Andre Johnson||$11.5 million|
|Dwayne Bowe||$11 million|
|Percy Harvin||$10.5 million|
|A.J. Green||$10.176 million|
|Julio Jones||$10.176 million|
|Mike Wallace||$9.9 million|
|Vincent Jackson||$9.777 million|
|Greg Jennings||$9 million|
Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald are the highest paid wide receivers in the NFL -- both of whom are currently serving a seven-year deal worth $113 million (or more). These are contracts that the Lions and Cardinals simply can't get out from -- the Lions would face over $20 million in dead money if they released Johnson.
Green is scheduled to become a free agent after 2015. If Green and Cincinnati are unable to work an extension (which would reduce the cap number in 2015) by then, expect Green to get slapped with the franchise tag around this time next year.