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Approval Poll: Bengals use franchise tag on A.J. Green

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The Bengals have locked up A.J. Green for at least one more season.

New Orleans Saints v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals finally made it official and used the franchise tag on wide receiver A.J. Green. As of now, he will play his ninth season in the NFL—all with Cincinnati—on a one-year deal.

There is a pretty clear line of logic that got us to this point. Green and the Bengals still have work to do in negotiating a multi-year deal. The veteran receiver understands this may be his last opportunity to secure a long-term contract as one of the top receivers in the NFL, and Cincinnati has some hesitancy paying that for a player who missed all of 2019 and seven games in 2018.

This isn’t the most ideal outcome as Green has been an absolute pro’s pro since landing in Cincinnati in 2011. He and Andy Dalton helped elevate the Bengals to five straight playoff appearances, but he has also endured some tough seasons following 2015. He has done all of this without demanding a trade or bad-mouthing the organization. It is unfortunate that he couldn’t be rewarded for that this season, but the NFL is a business. It also doesn’t hurt that he will get paid roughly $18.5 million in 2020.

This shouldn’t rule out Cincinnati working out a new contract preceding or following the 2020 season. The Bengals have until July 15th to work out a new deal so that Green doesn’t have to play on the tag. If they do not by then, they will have to wait until next offseason to do so. Provided Green stays healthy whilst playing on the tag, it should be a no-brainer for Cincinnati to give Green a nice contract to keep one of their most valuable veterans.

The biggest complication of this move is the fact Green said he would sit out offseason workouts if he was tagged. This may have some people thinking he will be that much farther behind with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow likely coming to town. However, it may be best to let him stay fresh for more important things like the regular season. Cutting down his workload at practice should be an emphasis this upcoming season anyway. He is a very experienced veteran who doesn’t need all the reps that young players need. If there was ever a player for fans to trust to be in shape and ready to go, it’d be Green.

What do you think about the Bengals’ decision to franchise tag Green?

Poll

What do you think of the Bengals franchise tagging A.J. Green?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    It makes sense for the Bengals not to commit too much after his injuries
    (562 votes)
  • 38%
    It is the right move, but it feels like A.J. Green deserves a contract
    (471 votes)
  • 5%
    No, they should’ve made sure to lock him up
    (65 votes)
  • 9%
    No, they needed to trade him at the deadline
    (117 votes)
1215 votes total Vote Now