The Cincinnati Bengals will place the franchise tag on veteran wide receiver A.J. Green, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted on Sunday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday that the Bengals want to sign Green and running back Joe Mixon to long-term contracts but that the upcoming vote on a new collective bargaining agreement has put the contract talks on hold.
The Bengals currently plan to franchise tag wide receiver A.J. Green, as they want him in Cincinnati in 2020 either through the tag or a longer deal, sources told @DanGrazianoESPN and me. A good selling point for the team's No. 1 pick.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 1, 2020
The Bengals took Green, now 31, with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection missed the 2019 season because of an ankle injury.
He signed a four-year, $60 million extension with the Bengals in 2015. Green told the Enquirer in an interview in October that he didn’t want the franchise tag.
“For me, it would be an insult. It’s my second deal so I’m getting older. That is one year older. No, I’m not into a one-year. Give me a long term or just let me go. I don’t understand the franchise. I just feel like the franchise should be eliminated if you are five years in,” Green said.
“You can’t franchise veterans because you are 30-31, they franchise you that is an extra year or two of people not going to give you a long-term deal. I don’t like it. I hate the franchise tag. I hate the rookie scale, the fifth-year option, I hate all that stuff.”
Green has played in 111 games (all starts) with the Bengals. He has caught 602 passes for 8,907 yards and 63 touchdowns.
The Bengals finished 2-14 under first-year coach Zac Taylor last year and have the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL draft and reportedly intend to draft a quarterback. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow of LSU has been linked to the pick, but Cincinnati also met with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa last week at the NFL Scouting Combine.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)