The writing has been on the wall for some time when it comes to A.J. Green and the Bengals. In all likelihood, the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver is not returning to Cincinnati in 2021.
And this video released by the Bengals official Twitter account basically confirms that. You’ve probably seen the video by now, but here it is in case you haven’t.
A.J. Green is one of a kind.@Bridgestone | #SeizeTheDEY pic.twitter.com/xGthCyvwwT— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 18, 2020
“This could be my last year. Or I could come back for more years. You just don’t know. I just want to say thank you and Cincinnati will always be home.”
Green’s 2020 season has largely been a disappointment and many fans have already made the case that Green just isn’t as good as he used to be. Narratives tend to change right after a game that features a touchdown and 62 total receiving yards, apparently.
Bengals fans, including the great Chad Johnson, reacted to Green’s video in a very positive and unified manner.
December 18, 2020
We've been privileged to watch him play over a decade and call him one of our own. We'll never take him for granted. This is lovely... (but does this video have more meaning?) https://t.co/p7FUXgONnY— Bengals UK (@WhoDey_UK) December 18, 2020
i am emotional. i love A.J Green https://t.co/pn5TkXzh7Q— Commissioner Yas (@commissioneryas) December 18, 2020
Just throw the ball to A.J. for every play the rest of the year. He deserves to go out on a high note. https://t.co/XbTkuk9IA1— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) December 18, 2020
Dunlap fled the Bengals 2 sacks short of the franchise record.— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) December 18, 2020
Geno Atkins' Bengals career is probably over, leaving him 8 short of the sack record.
Green is just 1 TD short of Chad's receiving record. Zac and friends better at least do right by one legend. https://t.co/1EpofK7Lgx
Man, we're out here posting goodbye videos before the season even ends https://t.co/5SfCkRDAqF— Chicco Nacion (@chicco_n) December 18, 2020
Give him the targets to break Chad’s TD record. He deserves it.— TG (@TGarcia82) December 18, 2020
force feed him slants for the next 3 weeks— Max Alfonso (@max_alfonso15) December 18, 2020
Green has earned some criticism for his play this year, but he’s still an all-time Bengal at the end of the day and his lack of production this year is not entirely on him. Bengals fans seem to recognize that now, and after hearing about the Geno Atkins news this week, this became just another tough pill to swallow.
That aforementioned touchdown from last week put Green at 65 for his career. Chad Johnson holds the Bengals’ franchise record for touchdown receptions with 66, and Pete Johnson holds the record for most total touchdowns with 70. Green may not be able to top Pete’s total touchdown record and he’s still well over 1,000 receiving yards behind Chad’s record in that category, but he can definitely haul in two more scores in these last three weeks.
Zac Taylor, the message is clear: feed No. 18.