What does the future hold for the Cincinnati Bengals and A.J. Green?

After the Cincinnati Bengals and A.J. Green failed to come to a long-term agreement, what comes next for the two sides?

On Wednesday at 4:01 pm it became official that A.J. Green would be playing on the franchise tag this season, as he and the Cincinnati Bengals’ front office did not come to terms on a long-term contract extension. What happens now that the two sides were unable to come to an agreement?

For starters, it’s important to note that this was not a toxic conversation for the two sides, something that can be said for similar situations across the league. Green has stated he would like to spend his entire career in Cincinnati, and it seems the feeling was mutual.

Senior Writer Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com had this to say about the negotiations:

It’s believed that as late as this week there was an open, productive dialogue between the sides in an effort to keep one of the franchise’s all-time greats for an extended period.

That’s good news for Bengals fans who want to see A.J. Green play his entire career in Cincinnati. The Bengals have traditionally prioritized keeping their homegrown talent in stripes, and Green has been one of the best players of the last decade after the team drafted him in 2011.

Unusual circumstances could have hurt A.J. Green extension talks

Although the admiration runs deep for Green within the organization, there were a few things that impacted a long-term deal getting done.

First is the uncertainty of what next year will look like. Teams do not know what the salary cap will be, or how much revenue they will be able to make between this season and next. Waiting to get more information will give Mike Brown a better idea of the cap space he has to work with for a long term deal.

The second big impact is that A.J. Green has been injured a lot recently. He missed all of the 2019 season due to an ankle injury and much of 2018 with various ailments. With Green entering his 30s, the Bengals wanted to give him a chance to show that he can play a full season again.

Rather than committing to a long-term deal with an aging and injured receiver, Cincinnati is keeping a good relationship with their star player in hopes that a deal can come together next offseason.

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