A.J. Green wants a long-term extension or his release
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green didn't beat around the bush when asked about what he is looking for in his next contract. The nine-year veteran is willing to remain with the Bengals under one condition: He wants a long-term deal.
"I'm not into a one-year. Give me a long-term (contract) or just let me go," Green said, according to ESPN's Ben Baby.
Green's statement requires no explanation. The wide receiver has spent his first eight years with the Cincinnati Bengals. Now in season nine and still nursing his way back from an ankle injury, Green is adamant about receiving a new long-term contract.
The 32-year old wide receiver was selected to the Pro Bowl in seven consecutive seasons to begin his NFL career. After putting in his time with this organization, he has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to receive the franchise tag.
Green is in the final year of his 4-year, $60 million contract and he is looking for another big payday, but he understands that the decision to place a franchise tag isn't his to make. Though he doesn't agree with the playing under the tag next season, he doesn't plan on holding out if that happens.
During the interview, Green went on to express his loyalty to the Bengals:
"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. 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."
The Bengals and Green have had a mutually loyal relationship to this point - almost to a fault. As a team in desperate need of rebuilding, Cincinnati had a chance to deal the veteran wide receiver before the NFL trade deadline, but head coach, Zac Taylor, quickly shot down the notion of moving his star receiver.
Green's health is one of the biggest concerns moving forward, but there is no questioning his ability when he is at full strength. Electing to forego a Green trade likely means the Bengals will offer him another big extension that could potentially lock him up for the remainder of his career.