Bengals: Is the A.J. Green era officially over in Cincinnati?
By Kyle Smith
A.J. Green had one target during the 27-3 loss to the Ravens. Is the A.J. Green era in Cincinnati officially ending or will he find his stride soon?
A.J. Green has the lowest separation yardage against cornerbacks this season. Following a 23 game absence, the former Bengal cornerstone has 14 catches, 119 yards, and no touchdowns in 2020. Granted, he should have had two touchdowns in week one against the Chargers. But since then, he has basically laid a goose egg.
During this week’s 27-3 loss to the Ravens, A.J. Green had one target. On that target, Joe Burrow floated a ball over the middle. Instead of fighting for the ball and playing some defense for his QB, Green stood and watched as the ball went over his head. Then, he turned to make the tackle and ended up looking like a lead blocker for the Ravens’ defender.
Does Green want a trade?
Green wasn’t seen on the field again as he came up lame with a hamstring injury. During the broadcast, the camera panned to a visibly frustrated Green on the sideline. It’s not confirmed what he said, but you can form your own opinion on the video clip.
If he truly mentions a trade, then this could get ugly in Cincinnati. It was known that he was not happy about the franchise tag. Clearly during the games this season, Green has looked like father time officially caught up with him.
What the Bengals could get in a trade with A.J. Green?
To be honest, not much. At this point, the Bengals would be lucky to get anything better than a fifth-rounder. Antonio Brown was one of the most dominant receivers in the game when he was traded to the Raiders. Yet the Raiders only had to give up a third and a fifth-round pick. Granted, the experiment did not work, but that wasn’t a steep price at all.
Veterans traded this offseason included Trent Williams, Calais Campbell, Jurrell Casey, and Rob Gronkowski. Williams and Gronkowski would be the best barometer to assess potential value. Williams missed all of 2019 as a holdout and Gronk was retired during the 2019 season. Williams was traded to the 49ers for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a ’21 third-rounder. Gronkowski was traded along with a seventh-rounder to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick.
In total, the Bengals would most likely net a mid to late day three draft pick or maybe an aging offensive lineman. However, Green is set to walk at the end of this season as a free agent. So maybe they should cut their losses and make a move. A.J. Green showed minimal effort for this team in weeks two through five. He is an all-time great Cincinnati Bengal, but the Green era needs to end sooner rather than later.