Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said he does not have any issues with his current contract, despite showing some support for draft classmate Julio Jones as the Atlanta Falcons wideout holds out for a new deal.
TMZ published a video on Friday in which Green was asked about Jones’ holdout and desire for a new contract.
“He gotta do what he gotta do, man,” Green said of Jones. “NFL stands for ‘Not For Long,’ so gotta get it while it lasts.”
Despite supporting Jones’ position, Green — who turns 30 next month — does not appear to feel any urgency to address his own contract situation.
“I signed a deal and I’m comfortable with the deal and I just live with it,” Green told The Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday. “After that’s up, we go back to the board. I don’t really get caught up in what’s the money like because I signed my deal and it was the highest paid at that point. It’s going to always go up. So you can’t keep up with that.
“…At the end of the day I just want to play football. I got my contract. I’m set for life. Now I can just go out there and play.”
Green and Jones have always been linked since going fourth and sixth, respectively in the 2011 draft, and both quickly emerged as NFL stars. After Jones signed a five-year, $71.25 million extension in August of 2015, Green eclipsed him two weeks later with a four-year, $60 million extension to claim the NFL’s highest annual average ($15 million) among wideouts.
Jones held out from the Falcons’ workouts this offseason while seeking a tweak to his deal, which now ranks eighth at the position with a $14.25 million average but still has three years remaining.
Green’s contract has two years left, and his combined base salaries for 2018 and 2019 total about $22.5 million compared to Jones’ $23 million over the same span. Green’s annual average fell to sixth among wideouts this offseason as Jarvis Landry ($15.1 million), Sammy Watkins ($16 million) and Mike Evans ($16.5 million) passed him with new extensions.
Antonio Brown is the league’s highest-paid receiver at $17 million annually.
Seven years into their careers, Green has been slightly more consistent than Jones, earning Pro Bowl nods in each season while missing a total of 10 games. Jones has been more productive on a per-game basis (95.3 receiving yards per game to 80.5) but has missed 17 contests while scoring 14 fewer touchdowns (57 to 43).
–Field Level Media