NFL

NFL: A.J. Green Gives Bengals Blunt Ultimatum

In the weeks leading into the trade deadline, there was much chatter around the Cincinnati Bengals regarding the long-term future of star wide receiver A.J. Green. Throughout the process, the Bengals stuck firm to their stance by not moving Green despite numerous teams being interested in acquiring his services. With that entire matter behind them, the Pro Bowler has given Cincinnati an ultimatum.

Bengals Resisting Trade Rumors for A.J. Green

The Bengals have gotten out to a rough start to the 2019 season, having lost their first eight games that have put them all but out of the playoff picture.

It has also painted them in the corner of being a team that needs to rebuild after what will be their fourth straight year missing the postseason. That led to much talk around the team concerning Green’s status with the franchise as he’s currently in the final year of his four-year, $60 million deal.

That, combined with the Bengals’ utter lack of success over the last few years, made it reasonable for the discussion to shift over to the team exploring the trade market for Green. However, that never truly came even with teams such as the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles both reportedly interested, which a deal should have been made.

Cincinnati held firm to their star wideout, which has led him to make a strong proclamation to the team concerning his future.

A.J. Green’s stern message to Bengals

The Bengals stuck to their guns at the trade deadline as they decided to keep Green for at least the rest of the season.

It’s a commitment that will have been shown much more than just declining trade offers as Green made it clear on Wednesday morning that he wants a long-term extension from Cincinnati, and if not, he will move on, according to Ben Baby of ESPN.

“I’m not into a one-year,” Green said on Wednesday. “Give me a long-term (contract) or just let me go.”

Green also stated that he has no desire to play under the franchise tag, but would not elect to hold out if that situation came about. That said, the message is clear: that he wants to have a long-term deal in place to secure his future well beyond just one year while putting to bed constant questions about his contract.

These comments from Green also shift the focus over to the Bengals to get everything worked out as their star wideout is still committed to the team despite the struggles over the last few years. The ball is in their court to get the entire situation worked out.

Bengals must extend A.J. Green

It has certainly been a tough last few seasons for Cincinnati, but the team still possesses several key pieces to the puzzle that they can build around for the long haul.

The fact that Green is still committed to the franchise despite not reaching the playoffs in what will be the fourth straight year is something that they shouldn’t take for granted. It’s a prime opportunity for them to secure him for the next several years while giving the next quarterback of the franchise a strong value asset to build around in the passing game next to emerging star wideout Tyler Boyd.

Green has had his struggles with his health over the last few years, but when healthy he has proven to be among the best wide receivers in the game. Ultimately, the Bengals must make it clear in the negotiation process how much they value him as a core piece in the puzzle to bring the franchise back into relevance in the league.