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Bengals set to franchise tag A.J. Green, per report

The inevitable move.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Cincinnati Bengals are set to place the franchise tag on A.J. Green, according to ESPN.

This has essentially been a done deal since the regular season, as Green missed all of 2019 with an ankle injury, essentially forcing the Bengals to use the tag on their star wide receiver.

It’s unfortunate that this is how things have played out, but the Bengals simply can’t sign Green to a long-term deal that would make him one of the league’s highest-paid receivers like he wants. Not after he’s missed significant portions of the 2016, ‘18 and ‘19 seasons due to injury.

The two sides still hope to agree to a long-term deal before the franchise tag extension deadline in July, but if it happens, Green will likely have to take a discount and may not get a lot of guaranteed money.

That’s why the smart money is Green playing under the tag in 2020 and betting on himself for a bigger contract in the 2021 offseason.