CINCINNATI — Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was very clear about what he’s looking for in his next contract.
And it’s not a one-year franchise tag.
“I’m not into a one-year,” Green said on Wednesday. “Give me a long-term (contract) or just let me go.”
The 32-year-old Pro Bowler who has not played this season is currently in the final year of his four-year, $60 million contract with the Bengals. Green has missed the Bengals’ 0-8 start to the season because of an ankle injury he suffered during the first practice of the preseason.
Green said that he decided to slow down contract negotiations between himself and the team while he worked to get healthy again. On Wednesday, Green participated in team drills for the first time since the injury occurred in July.
Green said he’s against the concept of giving the franchise tag to veterans. He feels it should be eliminated for players who have been in the league for five or more years.
However, he understands that getting the franchise tag is up to the Bengals’ front office, not him. And while he would disagree with the tag, he doesn’t plan on holding out if that happens.
“That’s not me,” Green said. “I’m not giving free money away. I don’t care what that is.”
The former Georgia standout once again downplayed any trade speculation regarding him ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. The Bengals were adamant about keeping Green despite their 0-8 start. Even though Cincinnati is in the midst of its worst start since 2008 and appears to be headed for a rebuild, Green appeared content.
“I’m not going to be a guy that says, ‘Oh I want to get traded’ and then go to a situation where I’m not happy,” Green said. “Like, I’m genuinely happy here. We might not win, but I’m happy here. But at the end of the day, this is a business. I know my worth and I know what I bring to this team.”
Green’s health is one of the biggest questions surrounding his future negotiation. The ninth-year player is confident in his ability to be productive when healthy.
“If they’re concerned about that, they don’t need to sign me,” Green said. “It’s whatever. If they’re concerned about me not being able to play 16, then take the risk not signing me and not franchising me. We’ll go from there.”
Credit: Source link