Bengals place franchise tag on A.J. Green, Cardinals give Drake transition tag
- Franchise tags were handed out to A.J. Green and Joe Thuney, while the Cardinals made an interesting move with Kenyan Drake.
A.J. Green has received the franchise tag from the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals icon was scheduled to be a free agent when the new league year begins on Wednesday but will now move into a 10th season with the team.
Green, 31, will earn around $18million in 2020 if he opts to sign the tag, with the team having until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal before the new season.
Amid a stellar career that has seen him earn seven Pro Bowl selections, the wide receiver sits second in Bengals history when it comes to receptions (602), receiving yards (8,907) and receiving touchdowns (63).
Green has been the subject of trade rumours after missing all of last season due to an ankle injury suffered in training camp, having only played nine games in 2018, with the team struggling in his absence.
But the franchise tag means Green remains under the control of the Bengals, who hold the number one overall pick in April's NFL Draft which they are expected to use on LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
"A.J. has been a big part of this team for a long time," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the franchise tag decision was announced on Monday.
"Now that he's healthy, I am excited to see what he will add to our offense this year."
With the legal tampering period for NFL free agents beginning on Monday, teams have been making key roster moves.
The Arizona Cardinals opted to hand the transition tag to running back Kenyan Drake, who they acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins last season.
Drake will initially be contracted for one year at around $8.4m but is free to negotiate with other teams. If he signs an offer sheet elsewhere, the Cardinals will have the opportunity to match the deal under the terms of the tag.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots are reportedly applying the franchise tag to guard Joe Thuney at an estimated cost of $14m.
Thuney had looked poised to become one of the top offensive linemen hitting the open market but will now stay in New England, where the future of QB Tom Brady is dominating the agenda.Published 16 Mar 2020, 22:46 IST