CINCINNATI -- A.J. Green said late Saturday night that he was happy for fellow class-of-2011 draft pick Julio Jones, who earlier in the day signed a five-year, $71.25 million contract extension that makes him one of the league's highest paid receivers.
The deal became the latest in a recent string of extensions that have helped set the table for Green to earn a similar raise from the Cincinnati Bengals in the near future. Green's rookie contract expires in February.
The sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft, Jones was picked by the Atlanta Falcons two spots after Green was selected by the Bengals. Despite missing significant action in 2013 with a foot injury, Jones still has emerged as one of the league's top playmakers the past four seasons. Last year, one season removed from his injury, Jones had 1,593 yards. It was the second time in his career that he had a 1,000-yard receiving season.
Green has had four of those seasons.
Jones' contract came after Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and Denver's Demaryius Thomas received five-year, $70 million extensions in July. All three receivers are making more than $40 million in guaranteed money, aligning them with Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who brought in $43.75 million guaranteed on his last deal.
The 27-year-old Green should expect something comparable.
"All those deals are getting done, that's good," Green said. "We'll see if I get done. Who knows?"
A Bengals source said earlier this offseason the team understands how highly valued Green is. The source said the organization is committed to fairly compensating him. There remains a chance an extension will come before the end of the preseason, but if a deal isn’t struck by Labor Day, the Bengals aren't likely to carry over the negotiation talks into the regular season. In those situations they would prefer to stall them before resuming after the season ends.
Green learned of Jones' extension just before the Bengals faced the Bears. Just prior to the Bengals running out of Paul Brown Stadium’s South end zone tunnel ahead of the opening kickoff, Green happened to see a television scrawl concerning Jones' deal.