The Cincinnati Bengals have placed the franchise tag on A.J. Green, per multiple reports. The move to tag Green was expected as the Bengals wanted to keep him in the fold with the expected selection of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow as the No. 1 overall pick.
Per CBS Sports NFL contributor and former NFL agent Joel Corry, Green is expected to make $17.865 million with the franchise tag, a move Green wasn't opposed to when there was speculation Cincinnati was going to tag him.
"The franchise tag is not the best thing," Green. "But like I said, I'm not turning down $18 million.
"It just happens. When you run a business, you have to make difficult decisions. But I feel like when you put that on me, then that's what you're showing me, you only want me for one year. And I always play with a chip on my shoulder."
Green missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury, one year after playing just nine games due to a right toe injury. He played just 10 games in 2016 due to a right hamstring tear. Signing Green to a long-term deal doesn't seem feasible for the Bengals, even if they wish to get one done.
"We are going to talk to him. All options are on the table," Bengals Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin. "I don't have anything to announce. But he's a guy that we plan on having next year. Hopefully, we will be able to get something done."
Drafted fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, Green has 602 catches for 8,907 yards and 63 touchdowns, averaging 14.8 yards per catch. Green has six 1,000-yard seasons and has made the Pro Bowl seven times. Green said in the middle of the 2019 season the Bengals are the team he wants to play for.
"That's just not who I am. I'm loyal to the person who gave me my shot," Green. "They took care of Larry (Fitzgerald). He's a Cardinal. No matter how many times they rebuild, he's a Cardinal. He's the only guy still there.
"I want the team records. I want more Pro Bowls. I want all that. So when I leave there is going to be a standard. I still want the yardage, I still want the touchdowns."
Green is second in Bengals history in catches and yards, playing all nine seasons with the franchise. He'll receive a hefty pay raise heading into Year 10.