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Cincinnati Bengals: Trading a player like A.J. Green shouldn’t be a taboo thought

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CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 2: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals is carted off of the field after injuring his foot during the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 2: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals is carted off of the field after injuring his foot during the second quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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The fastest way for the Cincinnati Bengals to get better might require some creative thinking. Like trading away a valuable veteran like A.J. Green.

Nothing gets a fan base more crazy than the idea of trading away a star player. It should. If a team decided for the sake of saving a buck to trade away talent, fans should lose their mind. BUT, if said talent can bring the home team better longer term fortune, then an organization should be wise, and ignore the good feeling of nostalgia. Such a team is the Cincinnati Bengals.

For Bengals fans, A.J. Green is such a name. Talented, no doubt, but languishing on a team that has, at best, .500 written all over it. Cincinnati is closer to the bottom than the top, and that’s just in the AFC North. All that said, if the Bengals fine themselves on the fast track to another second division finish, trading a player like Green should be on the “to-do” list.

It also shouldn’t be a taboo thought. Are the Bengals better with Green? You can make an argument both ways. On a team void of a “name” talent outside of Andy Dalton, Green is important. On a team needing a lot to move into the upper echelon of the division, he should be a piece easy to move. Green would bring more value long term than the misguided desire to see him finish in a Bengal uniform.

And, isn’t that the point? Doing what is best for the organization and the fans? If the Bengals reach a point where Green’s best value is him being elsewhere, then Cincinnati should be smart enough to part ways. If he brings Cincinnati a chance to rebuild and cultivate talent, then moving a player like Green only makes sense.

For fans who can’t see logic beyond the haze of orange and black, then shame on you. Teams who have made hard choices, like the Dallas Cowboys moving Herschel Walker, realized that one player doesn’t win a Super Bowl. In Cincinnati, A.J. Green doesn’t get the Bengals any closer to a Lombardi Trophy in 2019, 2020, or any season thereafter.

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In another city, he might. And therein lies the rub for those who think logic need not apply. Ultimately, A.J. Green might best serve the Bengals in any other city than Cincinnati.

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