CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 29: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals scores a first half touchdown during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Ravens 34-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
While there has been much talk about whether or not the Bengals will extend quarterback Andy Dalton’s contract prior to this season, should they be concerned about star receiver A.J. Green holding out this summer?
"No, there’s no concern of that," the Bengals coach told Florio during an interview conducted during the league meetings last month. "Actually there’s a lot in place to keep those guys from doing that the way the CBA was written. Obviously A.J.’s gonna be well taken care of for a long time and there’s not an automatic that they say you have to do that right now. There are things in place to continue to keep him playing and under contract and move forward."
Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, owner Mike Brown previously confirmed the club will exercise an option in Green’s rookie contract (signed in 2011) for a fifth year of the deal that will call for him to make the average of the top 10 at their position in 2015.
Brown and Lewis have both acknowledged that saving enough money to pay talented young players such as Green is a concern as negotiations continue with Dalton, who has led the team to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons in the NFL but performed poorly in the postseason.
Asked if there was any concern about paying Dalton too much too soon, Lewis replied, "I mean, we’re committed to Andy, and we want to keep him moving forward and playing up and ascending with his play. We’re committed that way and I think if we can get the contract done and he gets the chance to put that behind himself, so he doesn’t have to answer questions about it weak in and week out."