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ESPN: Bengals' Biggest offseason decision is A.J. Green extension

ESPN is reviewing the biggest offseason decision for each NFL team, concluding that the Bengals should extend A.J. Green. Because of the money that it would take to sign Green, it makes for a tricky proposition.

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A.J. Green won't be cheap to resign.

A recurring storyline this offseason is re-signing the Bengals' star receiver, who will enter the season on the last year of his existing contract. The amount of money tied to a long-term extension is enough to momentarily pause (and ask)... is he really worth it? We're not talking Calvin Johnson money of course, but whatever deal Green signs will easily be the biggest contract the Bengals have given.

He's probably be worth it too.

Let's provide a disclaimer... Cincinnati's defense is the catalyst that's sent the Bengals to the playoffs for four straight years -- and five of the last six seasons. If this defense, which was molded by now second-year head coach Mike Zimmer, isn't crushing body parts to make grown men sob in cheap beer, there are no playoff appearances.

On the other hand, Cincinnati's offense has been radically inconsistent and only the good football lord knows where they'd be without Green -- to start, the Bengals are 1-3-1 when Green doesn't play (not to completely counter my point about the defense or anything). Green also accounts for 25.3 percent of Andy Dalton's completions, 27.2 percent of Dalton's attempted passes, 33 percent of Dalton's passing yards and 35.4 percent of Dalton's touchdown passes. Then again there are those who would suggest Dalton's reliance of Green has led to more trouble than it's worth. Of Dalton's 66 interceptions in his career, 32 have come when he's targeting Green.

Should the Bengals extend Green?

Field Yates with ESPN writes that the biggest offseason decision is getting an extension done with Green:

Extension for A.J. Green: The Bengals' top 10 cap hits for both 2015 and 2016 are currently players who entered the league with the Bengals. That's noteworthy because it's a testament to the team's draft-and-develop philosophy. But Green is under contract only through 2015 as things currently stand, and he's their most talented offensive player. The team must make sure Green is the next homegrown star to get a long-term deal.

Green accounts for a team-leading $10.176 million against the salary cap this year-- he's playing on a fifth-year option which translates to transition tag numbers for players who were top-10 draft picks. If Cincinnati is unable to reach an agreement by next March, the franchise tag (nearly $14 million) will be an option for Green in 2016.