Do the 2020 Cincinnati Bengals really need A.J. Green?
A.J. Green is a Bengals all-time great and fan favorite, but does the franchise actually need him in 2020?
Whether it is on a franchise tag or a brand new deal, A.J. Green returning to Cincinnati in 2020 would not necessarily be a bad thing. Good players who are also good people are hard to find. Many people have him already penciled into 2020 lineup projections.
However, moving on from Green is an unspeakable thought to many Bengals fans, but it shouldn’t be. In fact, letting him go elsewhere is best for Cincinnati.
In the NFL, you have to pay players for what they are, not what they were. It is just the nature of the beast. Green has been a seven-time Pro Bowler. However, when the 2020 season rolls around, He will be a 32-year-old receiver who has played nine total games in the last two seasons.
In short, he may still have a little good football left in him, but his best days are behind him. Also, Tyler Boyd has come into his own in Green’s absence, posting 90 catches last year. Auden Tate was a rare bright spot in 2019. Like Green, John Ross has struggled with injuries, but he is still young, and cheaper than keeping Green would be.
In addition, the one thing everyone agrees on in terms of this year’s NFL Draft is the wide receiver class being exceptionally deep. There will be first-round talents going in the second and third rounds.
Putting a rookie with the three guys not named Green would result in more than enough weaponry at receiver for whoever is playing quarterback in Cincinnati next year.
Fans wanting Green to stay makes sense. From a football standpoint though, the logic behind Green staying is iffy at best. Again, allowing Green to walk would make the Bengals younger and cheaper. That is what every team should be striving for.
It would also allow Green to go elsewhere and chase richly deserved postseason success. Anything can happen in the NFL, but the Bengals don’t appear able to realistically offer that anytime soon.