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A.J. Green and Bengals still “aren’t close” in contract negotiations

A.J. Green wants a long-term deal. Do the Bengals?

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Dan Kubus/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals and superstar wide receiver A.J. Green have had a close to perfect relationship in his near decade in the Queen City. However, as he ages, it’s increasingly difficult to have both parties on the same financial page.

Green, who has yet to make an appearance this season due to a preseason ankle injury, is set for a new contract this offseason.

Set to turn 32 next July before the 2020 season begins, Green is looking for a long-term deal and has made it clear he does not want the franchise tag.

The tag would keep Green in Cincinnati at least one year longer. The current franchise tag salary would be just over $16.8 million, more than Green is currently owed for the 2019 season. For Green, it’s about obtaining that long-term, high-value contract.

For Cincinnati, it’s about getting Green at a discount and paying him just about where the market would value him. They don’t want to overpay Green, and that’s caused a rift among the two sides.

According to the Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon, Green and the Bengals “aren’t close in contract talks.”

Drafted No. 4 overall out of Georgia in 2011, Green started off his career with seven straight Pro Bowl appearances. He was absolutely unstoppable in his early years, recording 1,000-plus yards in his first five seasons.

Green has been with the Bengals for all nine of his seasons in the NFL and as he approaches a new contract, it’s possible that Cincinnati will be the only team to pay him even in the ballpark of what he's going to request.

Green’s average salary has recently been around $15 million. His last deal, which he signed in his mid-20s, was for four years and $60 million. He may be looking to duplicate that deal, despite dealing with varying injuries the past few seasons.

Having missed the first eight games of the season, Green is aiming for a Week 10 return to hopefully boost his value and leverage in negotiations.