Cincinnati Locked up Their Star Receiver
Cincinnati locked up their star receiver for another four years. To the surprise of some it wasn’t AJ Green that received a new deal. No, the Bengals and new coach Zac Taylor decided to go after their youth first. Tyler Boyd signed the $43 million extension on Tuesday. The move rewards Boyd for somewhat of a breakthrough year in which he had 76 catches, 1028 yards and seven touchdowns despite the issues Cincinnati had at quarterback after losing Andy Dalton.
Boyd, entering his fourth season, is still just 24. After flashes in his first 2 years, Boyd finally ascended to the role of starter and consistently moved the chains. At 6-2 he has good size and has shown exceptional hands with several spectacular catches. Checkout the video below to see what Boyd can do.
— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2018
Cincinnati are in a good place when it comes to their starting receivers. A.J Green has consistently starred for the Bengals despite some terrible Cincinnati teams of late. The Marvin Lewis coached Bengals made the playoffs six time in the Green’s first seven years and Green was a huge part of that. However, in the last 3 year the Bengals have struggled, failing to get more than seven wins each year.
How does this affect A.J. Green?
There’s no doubt Green has been the star of Cincinnati throughout his career. He’s second in team history in both receptions (602) and receiving yards (8,907).
Last year that looked set to continue. He started well, collecting 46 catches for 694 yards and 6 touchdowns, but then injury struck. Green sat out weeks 10-12 with a toe injury before trying to return in week 13. The injury was, however, too severe and green managed just one catch for 7 yards before leaving the game and being placed on Injured Reserve.
There’s always a danger with older player that their speed drops off and curtails their effectiveness. It’s fair to wonder whether this will happen to Green, who turns 31 in July, but there’s no way that this should result in the Bengals not resigning the veteran.
Andy Benoit explained Andy Benoit explained on The MMQB NFL Podcast that “If you understand how to get open on routes—and a lot of that gets into the way you stem your routes coming off the line of scrimmage, your splits (by which we mean how far from the quarterback you are lining up), and how diverse your playbook is” you don’t have to be the fastest player on the field.
On a team that is lacking standout performers Zac Taylor should make every effort to extend Green.
How much will it cost?
As with all contracts, it all comes down to production. The MMQB podcast also ranked the top ten receivers in the NFL. On their list he featured at number eight. Sporting News showed him as the ninth best receiver for 2019.
If Green can show that he’s healthy again, and all indications out of Bengals camp are they he expects to be, then he’s absolutely worth an average of $15 million a year. As Bengals owner, Mike Brown, said recently “If A.J. is healthy, he’s as good a receiver as anybody in the league.” Age will be a factor in the negotiations, but I’d expect the Bengals to make every effort to re-sign the aging receiver despite the play of Boyd and John Ross’ signs of life.
For now, Green is focused in the 2019 season and being a part of Zac Taylor’s offence. Green commented “We have a couple different routes I haven’t run before, so training camp is going to be big for me just to get out there, everything is live with the defence going, so it will be good,”. A good off season may just speed along contract negotiations.