Cincinnati Bengals, NFL

A.J. Green’s plan for his career is really good news for Bengals fans

Cincinnati Bengals star wideout AJ Green plans to play four more seasons with the team before retiring.

A.J. Green announced his long-term career plans on Friday, saying that his goal is to “play another four years” and retire in Cincinnati, per reporter Geoff Hobson. While the announcement may be shocking to some, the star wide receiver’s recent injury history likely played a role.

Green, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has played in just nine games over the past two seasons due to a variety of maladies, including an ankle injury which kept him sidelined for the entirety of the 2019 season.

When healthy, however, Green has been prolific, tallying six 1,000-yard seasons in his first seven years and hauling in 63 career touchdowns. If he is fully recovered in 2020, he figures to be rookie quarterback Joe Burrow‘s top target, and is likely due for a statistical resurgence.

After rampant speculation that Green might leave Cincinnati in the offseason, the front office franchise-tagged him, ensuring that he will be around for Burrow’s first season.

However, his statement that he would like to “retire as a Bengal” may be surprising to some. With the team entering a full-scale rebuild, Green’s timeline does not seem to fit with the rest of the roster, and no one would blame him for signing with a contender.

Green, on the other hand, seems content with spending his entire career in Cincinnati, although he may not have final say. If the Bengals receive an attractive trade offer for the 31-year-old wideout in 2020, they may pull the trigger, especially considering their investments in Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and Tee Higgins.

Such a scenario is probably unlikely, and someone like Green deserves to have control over how his football career ends after dedicating the last nine years to the Bengals.

Much like Larry Fitzgerald has stuck with the Arizona Cardinals through thick and thin, it seems important to Green that he stays with the same team. If he is willing to take team-friendly deals in the future and weather a rebuild, he just might be able to make it happen.

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