A.J. Green will probably go down as the best Bengals’ wide receiver ever by the time he calls it a career. He may even get close to reaching former Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Munoz as the greatest Bengal ever. He still has a long way to go though, but he has his eyes set on a mark that could easily put him in that conversation.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Green would like to reach the 100 touchdown mark during his career in Cincinnati.
A.J. Green has never been a numbers guy but as he went off on summer vacation Thursday he did reveal one he’d like to get. The nice round number that comes with 100 touchdowns. He just likes the sound of it. And he says he wants to do it as a Bengal.
Green currently has 57 touchdowns during his seven year career. He should easily reach the most receiving touchdowns for a Bengals player soon as Chad Johnson set the mark at 66. Running back Pete Johnson also set the all-time touchdown record for a Bengals player at 70, which is within reach as well for the veteran receiver. Green is under contract in Cincinnati through the 2019 season and has averaged 8.14 touchdowns in his seven year Bengals career. Let’s say he gets eight touchdowns in each of the next two seasons, he’d then be at 73.
The biggest road blocks in Green’s way to getting to 100 touchdowns in Cincinnati will likely be how long he can stay healthy and productive as well as if Green and the Bengals can agree on future contracts.
It is doubtful the Bengals will have an issue giving Green another extension next offseason. He is under contract until after the 2019 season, but you don’t give a player like Green a chance to sniff the open market. Green has been rock solid for this team for his entire career, and as long as he stays productive they will have room for him. Even as he gets up there in age and his role potentially changes, the Bengals should still opt to keep him around and work an offense around him like the Cardinals have done with Larry Fitzgerald.
Speaking of Fitzgerald, he is the only active player to reach the 100 receiving touchdown mark. The only seven other players to do it in the history of the NFL are residing in Canton, Ohio currently. That means if Green also makes his goal that he is almost assured a Hall of Fame bust and a jacket from the state in which he started (and hopefully ends) his career.
The logistics of Green getting to 100 touchdowns are getting pretty tight. He will be turning 30 on July 31st. When you compare that to a guy like Larry Fitzgerald who just turned 34, that means Green has some ground to make up. It isn’t out of the question by any means though. We haven’t seen any signs of Green slowing down just yet, and if he manages to get at least 10 touchdowns in the next two seasons then he is at most only 23 away from 100. He would also only be entering the next season after that at the ripe age of 32.
Of any receiver on the active list who has a shot at getting to 100, Green has spent the least amount of time in the league. Antonio Brown, who entered the league in 2010 and is older than Green by only 21 days, is only two touchdowns ahead of Green. Green is also miles ahead of Julio Jones who entered the NFL in the same 2011 draft. Jones only has 43 touchdowns. Some may point to him missing most of 2013 as the reason for this lead, but Jones also only caught three touchdowns last season despite playing in all 16 regular season games.
Green absolutely can pull off 100 touchdowns as long as he plays long enough. Whether he does it in Cincinnati may be up to the Bengals in deciding how long they want to pay him. Considering he was a fourth overall pick, and has been the best player on the team since 2011, it is hard to imagine the Bengals ever opting to let him suit up for another team.