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Monday, April 21, 2014
Bengals pick up A.J. Green's option

By Coley Harvey
ESPN.com

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals have, as expected, exercised a fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green, according to NFL Players Association website.

Green
The Bengals exercised receiver A.J. Green's fifth-year option for the 2015 season.

Green was eligible for the fifth-year option because he was the No. 4 overall pick of the 2011 draft. Per stipulations outlined in the latest collective bargaining agreement, players drafted in the first round can be offered a fifth year on their four-year rookie deals. For that fifth season, players taken in the top 10 will be paid the same as what was already slotted for transition tag players at their position.

Receivers given transition tags in 2014 are slated to make $10.1 million. Green would be similarly compensated in his fifth year, which would officially begin next March. This coming season, Green will be paid $6.3 million on the last year of a four-year, $20 million first contract.

Green, who returned to Cincinnati over the weekend for Monday's start of voluntary offseason workouts, was asked earlier Monday about how he would feel if the Bengals ended up offering him a fifth-year option as opposed to working out a longer term contract extension this offseason.

"It's what's in the new CBA. There's nothing I can do about it," he said. "That [affects] everybody."

He added that he has been staying away from the talks involving his representatives and the Bengals.

"I don't pay attention to that stuff. I'm still under contract," Green said. "Like I say, my body of work speaks for itself. Whenever the time's right, it's right. That's one thing I don't get involved with. I just go out there and play the game and whatever happens, happens."

Team president and owner Mike Brown told reporters at last month's owners' meetings in Orlando, Fla. the Bengals expected to exercise the fifth-year option on Green. They also could franchise tag Green in 2016, giving them essentially two more years to work out a long-term deal that might eventually make him a lifelong Bengal.

Green ranks second all-time in receiving yards for a player through his first three seasons. He's caught 260 passes for 3,833 yards. Of those, a career-high 1,426 came last year.