The Cincinnati Bengals missed a great opportunity to get better. By keeping fan-favorite A.J. Green, the organization and Zac Taylor are only prolonging a brand of mediocrity that is uncomfortably-comfortable.
Fans are ready to put the whole A.J. Green thing to rest. With the proclamation from Zac Taylor that Green will remain with the team, analysts who don’t bleed the Orange and Black are smart to opine that the Cincinnati Bengals missed a golden opportunity to not just rebuild, but to get better.
So just like that, the Bengals miss out on the chance to stockpile some additional draft picks. Additionally, it may also indicate that Cincinnati and the brain trust that is Mike Brown intends to stand pat, roll with Green and maybe even Andy Dalton beyond 2019, and produce the kind of mediocrity that fans in the Queen City are accustomed to.
For those fans of the Pollyanna persuasion, Cincinnati may have decided that it’s simply easier to maintain the status quo. Attempting to jettison a player like Green is bold. It requires an element of risk that Brown has never demonstrated a taste for. As such, the Bengals look to be lining up to serve its fan base more of what they’ve grown accustomed to.
Given their 0-5 start, Cincinnati is looking at a likely .500 or worse record for the fourth straight season. In a very good article by ESPN’s Ben Baby, the Bengals have “better odds of a top-5 pick than making a playoff push.”
But hey, at least Green will be back.
The Bengals are exactly what Albert Einstein said about insanity, “doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.” Keeping Green is safe. It’s fan-friendly. It’s a few extra butts in the seats. But it is not about winning a championship?
Taylor not thinking the Bengals are in need of a rebuild is most troubling. If his current assessment of his roster “as is” doesn’t tell him he’s missing a lot, then what fans see on game day isn’t the whole story.
Taylor not even thinking of what 2020 and beyond might look like without some critical thinking means Cincinnati is in bigger trouble than the current trend may indicate.
Don’t misunderstand, A.J Green in a Bengals uniform forever is a nice story. Hell, it’s a great story. Then again so is a Super Bowl. Something not remotely on the horizon with the Bengals, “as is.”