Do the Bengals need to lock A.J. Green up long term right now?

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The Bengals have until May 3 to exercise A.J. Green’s fifth-year option, ensuring that their star receiver will remain in Cincinnati for at least two more seasons. With roughly two weeks until the deadline, it’s a question of when, not if, this deal will get done.

Everyone knows that Green is going to be in Cincinnati for two more years. That’s a no brainer. Now the Bengals have to make sure they can get Green locked down for the rest of his career, and according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, they haven’t even started those discussions.

As of right now, the Bengals hold the upper hand in terms of contract negotiations. They know they have two years, three if they franchise Green in 2016, before there is any imminent threat of losing their all-pro receiver. That being said, Green can still make things difficult.

I can promise you that Green isn’t exactly worried about how long his NFL career is going to last. We all know he’s going to be playing football for a long time. This is simply about the money.

Since the new rookie wage scale was put in place, even top draft picks, such as Green, don’t get the type of deals they used to. In today’s NFL, young players have to prove their worth before getting their big pay day, and while this protects teams from paying busts, Green is anything but a bust.

Green can begin putting pressure on the Bengals organization by simply showing his displeasure. They don’t want their star player unhappy with them, especially when they are hoping to make a deep playoff run. Green can start by skipping all offseason workouts, and he can really prove his point by skipping training camp, though that would cost him $30,000 a day in fines.

The truth is that $30,000 a day is a lot to sacrifice to prove a point, and that’s why Bengals coach Marvin Lewis doesn’t foresee Green missing any of training camp. Nonetheless, the threat is still on the table, and the Bengals would be smart to take it seriously.


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