Wide receiver A.J. Green signed his one-year franchise tender for $17.9 million with the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, and will report to training camp.
Tagged by the Bengals back in March, the seven-time Pro Bowler had been seeking a multi-year contract to stay in Cincinnati. The two sides did not work out a deal prior to Wednesday's deadline, however, and Green had said he would honour the tag and report to camp.
"A.J. is one of the best receivers in the NFL," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. "He's an important part of our plans, and we're thrilled to have him in the fold from day one. We're looking forward to the impact of his talent and leadership on our offense this season."
After tearing his left ankle in the first practice of training camp a year ago and missing all of the 2019 season, the soon-to-be 32-year-old will be suiting up for a ninth season with the Bengals – and first without Andy Dalton.
The fully healed Green will now be teaming up with number one pick Joe Burrow, so arriving at camp on time will be paramount for the two to develop chemistry after Green had worked for so long with a different quarterback.
Since Green’s rookie season in 2011, only two quarterback-wide receiver tandems have totalled more pass completions than Dalton’s 581 to Green – the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown (783) and the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan and Julio Jones (782) – and that is with Green missing all of last season.
"By signing, A.J. puts himself and the team in the best position to have a great season together, and we look forward to the opportunity at the end of the season to discuss keeping him here long-term," Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said.
"He has been an integral part of our team, and we expect this year that he will be the same impact player he has always been."
Green has said before he would like to finish his career in Cincinnati, and only Chad Johnson ranks ahead of him in Bengals franchise history in receiving yards (8,907), receptions (602) and touchdown catches (63).Published 18 Jul 2020, 03:22 IST