The potential return of A.J. Green and what it means for the Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green might make his season debut this week against the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s take a look at not only what his return would mean to this team, but the whole organization as well.
The season has reached the halfway point and the Bengals are 0-8. However, Bengals fans might have something to be excited about with the potential return of A.J. Green. Although it may be too late for Green to come in and save the season, he can give fans a reason to watch and something to cheer for.
Not only that, Green can remind the front office how important he is to this organization. Having him back makes a positive impact on this team. Superstar players make the players around them better and elevate a franchise. Green is that type of player.
The Bengals are sending mixed signals regarding Green’s return. If/when he does, it is also an opportunity for Green to see if he is healthy. This may be the most important aspect of his possible return this year. The 2011 first round draft pick is a free agent at the end of the season.
It seems that both the Bengals and Green are interested in getting a contract extension done. A big hurdle to this point has been Green’s recent injuries. If he can get back to 100%, it could go a long way in pushing the negotiators along much more quickly.
The Bengals showed no interest in trading their franchise player. Thus, it is now imperative that they get this deal done. It is tough to put anything past the Cincinnati front office. Even so, you simply cannot just let a player of Green’s caliber walk away for nothing. Maybe he can force ownership to put their money where their mouth is.
Green is undoubtedly one of the most important players in the history of the Bengals franchise. He has repeatedly spoken of his willingness to finish his career in Cincinnati. That alone should cement his status as a legend, nearing an Anthony Muñoz type level.
If Green does return to the field for Cincinnati this year, it will take a little time to get rid of the rust that comes with extended time off. Green can impact the game even just as a decoy. The other receivers would benefit from having number 18 out there drawing most of the opposing defense’s attention. Also, new starting quarterback Ryan Finley would benefit from having Green’s veteran leadership and presence out there to help him as he gets his NFL feet wet.