CINCINNATI — A.J. Green's lack of production this season has been been disappointing, but no one's more frustrated than the man himself.
The 32-year-old wide receiver expected to return to form this season after missing nearly two years due to injuries.
Unfortunately for him and the Bengals, he doesn't look like the same player that went to seven-straight Pro Bowls to start his career.
Green has 35 receptions for 357 yards and one touchdown this season.
Most believe this is who he is at this stage of his career. A possession wide receiver that struggles to get separation and can no longer take the top off of the defense.
That may be the case. In fact, that's probably the most-likely scenario.
Despite the rough start, Green has a golden opportunity starting with Sunday's game against the Giants. If he has any juice left, then this is the time to show it.
Brandon Allen is going to start for the Bengals on Sunday. No one thinks he is even comparable to rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
This is Green's chance. This is an opportunity for him to show the Bengals and the rest of the NFL that he can still be a difference-maker on offense.
Cincinnati franchise tagged Green in March. He could be a free agent this offseason for the first time in his career.
If Green can consistently produce over the final six weeks, then there will be a team, maybe even the Bengals, that's willing to sign him to a multi-year extension this offseason.
Producing with Allen or even Ryan Finley under center is much easier said than done. This is a tall task, especially with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins on the roster. They're going to get most of the targets on offense.
There aren't many people that could benefit from having a new quarterback under center for the final six games. Green is the rare exception.
No one would be surprised if Higgins and Boyd's numbers drop following Burrow's injury.
That would make a stellar six-game stretch by Green even more impressive.
“I just gotta continue to get better. Coming off of two injuries and a new offense," Green said earlier this week. "I’m not really thinking about what’s after this year. Right now I’m just in the moment and whatever happens after that, we’ll see.”
This is a chance for Green to show that he can still dominate on an NFL field. Not many players in the history of the league have done what he did from 2011-17.
Green was hoping to earn one last big money long-term contract this season. The window appeared to slam shut on that possibility during the first 10 weeks of the season.
That same window opened slightly this week. The veteran has one more chance.
Green can earn a lot of money over the next six weeks, starting with Sunday's game against the Giants.
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