CINCINNATI — One week. The Bengals and A.J. Green have seven days to agree to a long-term contract extension.
Cincinnati placed the franchise tag on the seven-time Pro Bowler this offseason. The deadline for franchise players to agree to an extension is July 15.
He'll make $17.9 million in 2020 if the two parties can't agree on a new deal.
The odds of Green and the Bengals agreeing to an extension is unlikely. A new contract was complicated enough, given his injury history.
The uncertainty of the NFL's salary cap due to COVID-19 muddies the water even more.
Green has missed 29 of a possible 64 games over the past four years. He didn't play at all last season due to an ankle injury. He turns 32 later this month.
Green is 100 percent healthy and hoping to prove that he's still an elite NFL wide receiver.
He's talked with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow about working out together, but it hasn't happened yet. With training camp scheduled to start on July 28, it may be best for the duo to wait until they can practice together at Paul Brown Stadium.
Green is one of the best players in franchise history. He single-handedly carried the Bengals' offense for long stretches from 2011-2018.
"We really like A.J. Green and look forward to coaching him this year. We want him here for a long time," head coach Zac Taylor said in April. "He’s fully healthy and he’s working hard. He’s been in Atlanta."
Taylor isn't alone.
Team President Mike Brown, Duke Tobin and the rest of the organization wants Green to remain in Cincinnati, but agreeing to a deal that works for both sides could be next to impossible given the uncertainty surrounding the NFL due to COVID-19.
The Bengals and Green could let this season play out and agree to a long-term deal next offseason.
Regardless of what happens, number 18 has plenty to prove in 2020.