A.J. Green is "fully healthy" after missing all of last season

James Rapien

The Bengals have been one of the most active teams this offseason. They committed nearly $150 million to eight free agents and placed the franchise tag on seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green. 

Injuries have kept Green off the field in recent seasons. He missed all of last year with an ankle injury. He's also dealt with other various ailments, including toe and hamstring injuries. 

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor sounded optimistic when he was asked about his star wide receiver on Wednesday. 

"Everything has been positive with A.J. Green," Taylor said. "He’s fully healthy and he’s working hard. He’s been in Atlanta. It’s all been positive in that regard."

Green has missed 29 of a possible 64 games over the past four years. He was once considered one of the most dominant wide receivers in the game. Now some are wondering if he can stay healthy enough to perform at an elite level? 

Green was the first wide receiver in NFL history to begin his career with seven-straight Pro Bowl appearances. He helped the Bengals the playoffs five years in a row from 2011-2015. 

Cincinnati opted to franchise tag Green this offseason, which means the two sides have until July 15 to work on a multi-year deal. If they can't agree to an extension, his one-year tender will be worth around $18 million next season. 

Green has publicly voiced his displeasure about playing on a one-year deal, but it's hard to envision the Bengals agreeing to a long-term extension, unless it was filled with non-guaranteed money.

Green, 31, could benefit from playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag. He needs to prove to the rest of the NFL that he's still capable of staying healthy and posting elite numbers. He should be in a position to do just that with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. 

The Bengals are expected to select Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick. The 23-year-old could help revitalize Green's career much like Andrew Luck did for Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis. 

Wayne had one of the most productive seasons of his career in 2012 during Luck's rookie campaign. The 34-year-old finished with 106 receptions, 1,355 yards and five touchdowns. The Colts went to the playoffs just one year after posting a 2-14 record. 

Burrow is 23-years-old, which is the exact same age Luck was when he was a rookie. Wayne benefitted from having a youngster like Luck and vice versa. 

There's no reason why Green and Burrow can't have the same success in 2020, assuming the Bengals' star wide receiver can stay healthy. 

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

That would be awesome to see if it turned into a Luck Wayne situation. As you said, hopefully Green can stay healthy.