Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green is set to be a free agent, but not if the team has its way. The Bengals are expected to hand Green the franchise tag, which would pay Green a high salary, but only for one year.
While Green won’t turn down that money, he would prefer the Bengals don’t give him the franchise tag. Green, 31, told Elise Jesse of WLWT getting tagged would not be “the best thing.”
AJ Green told me a franchise tag would speak volumes to him. "A franchise tag is not the best thing". pic.twitter.com/IwSKBPXpbc— Elise Jesse (@Elise_JesseWLWT) January 23, 2020
While some might assume Green wants to leave the Bengals, that’s not the case. Green makes it clear he would love to stay in Cincinnati, but wants the team to invest in him for more than one season.
The Bengals might be unwilling to do that considering Green’s recent injury history. Green has been limited to just nine games over the past two seasons due to ankle injuries.
Prior to those ailments, Green was one of the best receivers in football. From 2011 to 2017, Green averaged 1,288 yards and nine touchdowns per season. Green may still have that ability after the injuries, but hasn’t shown it on the field in a while.
Because of that, Green may be forced to play under the franchise tag temporarily. If the Bengals offer Green a deal now — before seeing if he rebounds — it would likely fall short of Green’s expectations. But if Green comes back next season and looks like an explosive player, both sides should have no problem coming together on a long-term contract.
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