Impending free agent wide receiver A.J. Green would prefer to avoid getting slapped with the franchise tag for 2020 according to Elis Jesse of WLWT.
“A franchise tag is not the best thing,” Green conceded, though the seven-time Pro Bowler also added he’s not in a position to turn down $18 million. “I love the city of Cincinnati. I love the team,” Green continued. “I always wanted to be here my whole career and I feel like we have the pieces if I were to stay healthy.”
There are plenty of observers who believe both Green and the Bengals organization would be better off ending their relationship and embarking on fresh starts. But Bengals owner/GM Mike Brown is a very stubborn man and likes to hold on to his homegrown players, even when clinging to the past keeps the organization from moving forward. Green has appeared in just nine games the past two years due to a lingering toe injury and offseason ankle surgery and never made it onto the field at all in 2019. He turns 32 years old in July.
Nevertheless, head coach Zac Taylor said earlier this week that re-signing Green is “a priority” and that there will “have to be” contract negotiations this spring. Both sides have said that they would prefer a long-term deal but the Bengals could buy themselves some time by utilizing the franchise tag despite Green’s opposition.
Either way, Green will collect a healthy payday in 2020 even if he does not secure the future security he wants.
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