Bengals' A.J. Green Talks Working with Joe Burrow, Andy Dalton to Cowboys, More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, left, and wide receiver A.J. Green, right, share a laugh during voluntary football minicamp, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said he's been in contact with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, and is excited to link up when the circumstances allow it amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Green discussed his conversations with Burrow in an interview with Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official website released Friday.

"We've been talking back and forth. We were talking yesterday and I know he wants to get together and throw somewhere," he said. "I told him wherever he is, we'll come to him. I don't know where, when, how. It's all who can fly where and when. He's the quarterback. He makes his location and we have to get there."

Green, who missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury and received the franchise tag from Cincinnati in March, said he's also spoken with former quarterback Andy Dalton, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys after being released by the Bengals.

"We FaceTimed a few days ago," he told Hobson. "We'll always be friends. A friendship that lasts forever. I'm very happy for him. He's in a good situation with a good staff behind him and where he can help Dak [Prescott] because Andy is an unbelievably smart guy. He'll push Dak to be better and also help him."

Green was one of the NFL's most dangerous receivers across his first seven seasons after the Bengals selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft.

He ranked fifth in receptions (556), fourth in receiving yards (8,213) and sixth in receiving touchdowns (57) during the stretch from 2011 through 2017, per Pro Football Reference.

Injuries have derailed his career in recent years, though. Along with missing the entirety of last season, he was limited to nine appearances in 2018 because of a toe injury.

"It's a process of trying to be great. You play this game long enough, you're going to have these bumps in the road and you have to keep fighting," Green told Hobson. "That's where I am. Still fighting. I still love the game. I'm just ready to get back and play."

The Bengals still used the franchise tag to keep him in order to maximize the talent around Burrow, who's coming off a college season where he won the Heisman Trophy and led LSU to an undefeated record en route to the national championship.

Green will join fellow wideouts Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate and John Ross III along with running backs Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard to give Cincinnati a high-upside playmaking group, and the team's top target is confident he's ready for a bounce-back campaign.

"The ankle is back to normal," he told Hobson. "I really don't care what the circumstances are. I'm just going out there and play football and get back to being the old A.J. Having fun and making plays."

Although the NFL's offseason program has been moved to a virtual format because of the pandemic, the league has continued its preparations for the 2020 season, including the schedule release Thursday.

Green, Burrow and the Bengals are slated to open the campaign Sept. 13 with a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.