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Bengals mailbag: A.J.’s outlook and 2019 issues

We received a number of questions and concerns this week from Bengals fans. The 2019 draft class doesn’t have a player at a starting position going into Week 6, while Cordy Glenn is still dealing with concussion symptoms after two months. Meanwhile, A.J. Green is back practicing, but not everyone is believing the team’s stance on not trading him.

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The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-5 and are at a major franchise crossroads. Andy Dalton’s ability to lead this team is being questioned under the tutelage of supposed quarterback whisperer, Zac Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Bengals are seemingly remaining steadfast in their commitment to keep A.J. Green. All the while, the Bengals are looking to get their first win against the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens.

The news surrounding A.J. Green

After waiting months for solid updates on the status of the Bengals’ star wide receiver, it’s been a whirlwind week of news on No. 18. After hitting the practice field on a limited basis for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on the first day of training camp, Zac Taylor let the world know that Green’s services aren’t available via trade.

We were asked by Bengals fans about a number of aspects surrounding his situation. First off, we know that Green isn’t suiting up against the Ravens this week, which is a good thing for Baltimore, as he’s tormented them over the years.

As for when he’ll actually play, it would seem as if there is a decent chance he’ll suit up for Week 7 against the Jaguars. If not, I wouldn’t doubt Taylor (and the NFL) putting him out there for their London exhibition against the Rams. This would be predicated on their being no setbacks, of course.

Should we believe Taylor and his insistence that the Bengals won’t be trading Green, though?

For those who have followed the Bengals for a while, there is a pattern when it comes to their dealing of players. In almost every case, it’s because a player is disgruntled—be it from the losing, their contract situation, or both.

This can be traced back to Paul Brown’s days with Lemar Parrish and into his son’s days as owner with names like Carl Pickens, Corey Dillon, Carson Palmer and even Chad Johnson. The Brown family prioritizes loyalty, especially when it comes to a player honoring the length of their contract.

Green has made it known that he wants to stay in Cincinnati and retire a Bengal. It may be a simplistic way of looking at the situation, but that is a huge reason for why he won’t be dealt before the trade deadline. I could end up with egg on my face here, but I’m pretty confident in this stance.

What I’m not so sure about is what happens with Green after 2019. Cincinnati wanted to re-up Green this offseason and were reportedly working on an extension before this injury hit. It stalled talks, especially with Green missing a third of this season’s schedule.

The numbers may get complicated because of the balancing of a “lifetime achievement” deal and the fact that Green has missed 22 games over the past six seasons with two stints on Injured Reserve. But, Cincinnati still probably wants to get a deal done.

But, if Green is secretly unhappy with the direction of the team and wants a shot at a championship before he retires, he could bolt in free agency. If that occurs, that would make the strategy of not trading him an utter failure.

There are compromises like the franchise tag, but it’s a costly one. Regardless, if the Bengals are dead set on keeping Green, that’s fine, but they need to make sure he’s around for the foreseeable future to aid in the rebuild and possibly with a new, young quarterback, if that’s the direction taken in 2020.

Also on this week’s mailbag:

  • When is it time to give Ryan Finley a look?
  • As of Sunday, none of the Bengals’ 11 draft picks from this year will man a starting position. That’s a problem.
  • How do we feel about the upcoming game against the Ravens?
  • Should we expect to see Cordy Glenn at all this year?

Our thanks to all of of you who submitted questions—either on the live show, or beforehand. Join us for our weekly episode, these mailbags and our postgame reactions here at Cincy Jungle and on our YouTube channel.

If you’re unable to join us live for here at Cincy Jungle or YouTube every episode, all Orange and Black Insider content is available here on CJ, the Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play Music apps, our YouTube channel, as well as through Megaphone and, as always, on iTunes! You can tweet us @BengalsOBI or get in touch with us via email at Thanks for listening and go subscribe to our channels!