Bengals receiver A.J. Green has only played 18 games in three years. However, when healthy he has been one of the best receivers in football.
Green has yet to make his 2019 NFL debut and — with the Cincinnati Bengals seemingly out of contention — his name has been thrown around as a possible trade target for a contending team. The question is, how much can his lingering toe injury and bad ankle be trusted? Green has been out since injuring ligaments in his right ankle during the first practice of the preseason.
Trading for the nine-year veteran would be a huge risk at this stage in the oft-injured receiver’s career. But NBC Sports’ Peter King named two teams that would possibly be in play for Green. He listed the Philadelphia Eagles as one of them.
The other one? The New England Patriots, of course. The asking price seems a bit steep, though. King suggested that the Bengals might want a first-round pick in exchange for the 31-year-old.
A.J. Green Beloved in Bengals Locker Room
The Bengals are 0-5 and appear to be playing the rest of the season for a No. 1 draft pick. Don’t tell that to the guys in the Cincinnati locker room. As trade rumors start to circulate around star receiver A.J. Green, a few players have fired back. They do not want Green traded since it would indicate the franchise has given up on the season after five games.
“It better not happen. It’s going to fall apart if you do that,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said, according to Bengals.com. “That’s our best player on the team. He’s not even out there. We don’t know how the team really should look. They can’t do that.”
Green, who is in the final year of his contract, has repeatedly said that his preference is to remain in Cincinnati. He was hoping for an extension in the offseason, but the team never made an offer. The Bengals’ front office “continues to talk through” a new deal, according to ESPN.
Top 5 Wide Receiver in Football When Healthy
A.J. Green’s production can’t be overstated. He is among the very best at his position, albeit when he’s actually on the field. Green’s name had been mentioned in the same breath as guys like Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. entering the 2016 season before injuries took their toll.
In his first seven NFL seasons, the 6-foot-4, 207-pound wideout had averaged 1,173.2 receiving yards per season on 135.7 targets. His 57 touchdown catches were 14 more than Jones’ 43 at the time. Then, the injury bug bit down hard on Green with a myriad of ankle and toe injuries.
While Green probably isn’t worth a first-round flier at this point, he certainly could be a valuable mid-season piece if the Bengals were serious about trading him. Eagles GM Howie Roseman always does his homework and placing a call to check in on him would be wise. A healthy Green — with all apologies to Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson — would instantly be the No. 1 receiver on the Eagles roster.
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