The Cincinnati Bengals and their fans had to be happy that A.J. Green signed his free agent tender recently. Of course, it only came days before the NFL officially attempts to kickoff training camp around the league.
That may have fans wondering how ready Green will be for the season. Not to worry though, Green is as ready for 2020 as you’d expect a player to be heading into his 10th season.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Green has been running routes since February as well as working out with up-and-coming Florida quarterback Emory Jones for a few months as well. That should ease fan’s concerns a little bit about Green’s health coming into training camp. Although, aside from building rapport with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, Cincinnati shouldn’t be pushing him too hard anyway.
Speaking of Burrow, Green and the rookie have apparently been texting throughout this process, and the veteran wide receiver seems nothing short of elated.
“You see the energy he brings to his teammates,” Green said of the new quarterback he has yet to meet. “Watching the national championship game you see how fired up he is. A lot of people don’t look at quarterbacks to be that fired up, but I feel like he’s going to bring that same energy he brought to LSU. I’m just excited to be out there with him.”
It is hard to say whether anyone was closer to Andy Dalton than Green. The two came into the NFL together in 2011, and they are the most dynamic duo in Bengals history. It is understandable that some people would’ve been concerned by the idea of moving on from Dalton, but Green seems to understand the situation and be making the most of it.
It is pretty clear that Green understands the 2020 is a very important season for him. He is set to make roughly $18 million this season, but next offseason could be his last chance to secure a significant long term contract.
Green’s health has been the biggest concern after missing part of 2018 and then all of 2019 with foot and ankle related injuries. He has tried to prevent that from being an issue again by hiring a new trainer to specifically work on avoiding such injuries. They have worked to strengthen his ankles and toes as well as learning how to land, according to Hobson.
Green is taking his preparation for the 2020 season extremely seriously, and that isn’t surprising given how much he has on the line. No fan should be upset to see a player like Green excited to possibly retire with their team, and if everything works out, that is exactly what we should see happen.