A.J. Green and the Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a $60 million dollar contract extension, reported by Pro Football Rumors, that will keep the NFL star wide receiver with the franchise for at least five more seasons.
This news comes a few days after the Bengals released defensive tackle Devon Still, whose daughter Leah had been dealing with pediatric cancer. This is, of course, much happier news for Bengals fans.
According to a report by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the extension begins with the 2016 NFL season and does not count Green’s $10 million dollar salary for this season.
A.J. Green’s contract extension follows that of other NFL wide receivers this off-season, including the Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas, Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, Falcons’ Julio Jones, and Colts’ T.Y. Hilton.
On Thursday, Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Jim Owczarski wrote that the Bengals were willing to offer Green the same $14 million salary average as the other newly-extended top-flight receivers this year, but a sticking point had been the amount of guaranteed money in Green’s deal.
The extension is good news for Bengals fans, as Pro Football Rumors’s Luke Adams said the receiver was more than willing to wait this negotiation out.
“The star wideout said earlier in the summer that he’d be willing to play out the final year of his rookie contract, while the team seemed more eager to work something out.”
Rapoport further reported that increased money in the early part of Green’s contract helped make the Bengals deal happen.
While Green said all along he wasn’t going to hold out, but the guaranteed money in the contract was likely to be an issue from the outset. Quarterback Andy Dalton’s contract only features $17 million in guaranteed money, a figure much lower than most starting NFL quarterbacks. Dalton signed that deal in 2014.
While the guaranteed money on Green’s contract has not yet been released, it’s safe to assume it is more than the amount featured in Dalton’s deal. Former NFL agent Joel Corry has detailed the Bengals’ history with guaranteed money.
“The problem is going to be guaranteed money because of the way Cincinnati structures contracts. Something has to give, big time on this one. If every other receiver is going to be over $40 million guaranteed as a comparable player, A.J. Green is not going to accept a contract with $20 million in guarantees.”
The Bengals travel west to play the Oakland Raiders in their season opener this Sunday and will do so with A.J. Green a much richer man.
[Photo Credit: John Grieshop/Getty Images]