The Cincinnati Bengals have signed Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green to a contract extension.
“This is great news as we head to play the Raiders,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “Everyone in football, and people who follow football, know that A.J. is a special talent. He makes plays that you wouldn’t think could be made. He’s an outstanding teammate and a leader you can rely on. He still has a long, great future ahead of him in Cincinnati.”
Green, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2011, was scheduled to make $10.76 this year after the Bengals picked up a fifth-year option on him in April 2014.
He is the last of the league’s high-priced wide receivers to sign an extension prior to the start of the 2015 season, following Dallas’ Dez Bryant (five years, $70 million), Denver’s Demaryius Thomas (five years, $70 million) and Atlanta’s Julio Jones (five years, $71 million).
The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting Green’s deal to be worth $70 over five years.
Green has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons with the Bengals, making the Pro Bowl each year.
He has 329 catches for 4,874 yards and 35 touchdowns in his Bengals career.
Green and quarterback Andy Dalton, also drafted in 2011, are the most productive QB-WR duo in NFL history for players in their first four seasons. Their 324 completions and 4735 yards are the most for any duo in seasons 1-4, and their 33 TD connections are tied for the most, along with Dan Marino and Mark Clayton of Miami (1983-86).
“A.J. makes all of us better,’ Dalton said. “As a quarterback, you can put up a contested ball for him that you might not put up for everybody. We’re focused right now on 2015, but this is great to know for the long run.”
Green has averaged 83 catches, 1219 yards and nine TDs over his four Bengals seasons. His career totals are 329 catches for 4874 yards and 35TDs. Green’s career-high for catches in a season is 98, and should he match that total in 2015, he would complete the year with the most catches (projected 427) in NFL history for a player in his first five seasons.
Green already is the only NFL player to rank among the league’s top four in both catches and receiving yards for seasons 1-4. His 329 catches rank third, and his 4874 yards rank fourth.