The Cincinnati Bengals and star receiver A.J. Green didn’t come to terms.
This season will be the start of a new era for the Cincinnati Bengals.
After selecting LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft, they will look to reverse their fortunes as a franchise. Cincinnati has not won a playoff game since 1991 and Burrow will be the catalyst if that is to change soon.
With the franchise tag deadline come and gone, star wide receiver A.J. Green will play out the season on his tag. This isn’t a surprise, but still a tough moment for many fans in the Queen City.
The Bengals and A.J. Green are not anticipating a deal getting done by the franchise tag deadline, barring a final-hour surprise push, per source. Green has not yet signed his franchise tag but will likely play on it.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 15, 2020
Green missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury and only played in nine games in 2018 due to a toe injury. This was undoubtedly the biggest factor in the Bengals reluctance to give him a long-term contract.
Age is also a major factor. Green will turn 32 later this month and it would have been foolish for the Bengals to offer him a long-term deal, considering the last time we saw him play a full season was in 2017.
However, there’s no doubt when Green is on the field, he’s one of the NFL’s best players. In his last full season in 2017, Green caught 75 passes for 1,078 yards along with eight touchdowns. He has made the Pro Bowl in every season in which he has played at least 10 games.
Now, 2020 will be a major prove-it year for Green. He’ll have to show that he has the durability to continue playing into his mid 30s. He’ll also need to prove that he’s still one of the NFL’s top wide receivers in order to earn another big money deal next offseason.
Whatever happens in the future, it will be exciting to see him link up with Burrow this season. He’ll rejoin a very exciting wide receiver room that includes slot master Tyler Boyd, speedster John Ross III, and second-round pick Tee Higgins out of Clemson.