Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 5
Peter King of Sports Illustrated describes a text sent from Marvin Lewis to AJ Green following Andy Dalton's new contract:
CINCINNATI-Marvin texted AJ Green Sun after learning Dalton signed. Told AJ to have his agent get talks going. Marvin wants core signed now.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 5, 2014
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports a deal is not close to being reached:
Despite the head coach’s directive, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that a contract for Green isn’t expected “any time soon.” Dalton’s contract that was signed on Monday had been the subject of on-again, off-again talks since February.
Shortly after the signing of quarterback Andy Dalton to a six-year, $115 million deal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter and Adam Caplan, the Cincinnati Bengals might be moving fast on star wide receiver A.J. Green, another crucial piece to the offensive core.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provides the latest on Green:
AJ Green is next up for the #Bengals. They were waiting to dig into his deal until Andy Dalton got done. Now, Dalton’s deal is done.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 4, 2014
The fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Green has been worth the high selection throughout his first three seasons. In 2013, the wideout put up career highs with 98 receptions for 1,426 yards along with 11 touchdowns.
In fact, Green's numbers thus far have been historically great, as NFL Stats notes:
Thanks to his explosiveness, the Bengals reached the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Unfortunately, they also lost their first game in the postseason and have gone 0-3 in the postseason with Dalton and Green at the helm.
Green addressed his quarterback and the lack of success in the playoffs, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
That's my guy. He helped me where I am. I helped him and we took the Bengals to a different level.
… A lot of people give him crap about not winning a playoff game, but we've made the playoffs the last three seasons. We've won 10 or more games (twice). Playoff games … we're still young. I feel like we're going to win them, it just takes time.
Darin Gantt of NBC Sports offers his thoughts on the Dalton deal and what it means for Green:
I'm not sure the Bengals couldn't have just rode out this year and drafted another Dalton in the second round and saved a pile of loot.— Darin Gantt (@daringantt) August 4, 2014
That way, you pay an actual difference-maker (AJ Green) and keep that solid defense around the new cheap guy.— Darin Gantt (@daringantt) August 4, 2014
Though much of the talk was surrounding Dalton, Green is a prominent part of the postseason questions. The former Georgia receiver has averaged 53.6 yards per game and has yet to touch pay dirt in the playoffs during his career.
If the Bengals plan to continue their recent run in the AFC North and keep making the postseason, keeping Green happy will be crucial. Though he stuck up for his quarterback during the offseason, Green is the biggest reason for the recent surge in Cincinnati.
With playmakers like Giovani Bernard in the mix along with a stout defense, the Bengals have a bright future. If Green is eventually locked up long term, they look like a contender in the AFC North for years to come.
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