Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has not played a game this season due to an ankle injury and he’s slated to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
While some players are demanding trades and trying to find a way to a new team, Green makes it clear he’s not like that.
In an interview with Paul Dehner of The Athletic, Green explained how important loyalty and legacy is to him.
“Nobody will ever value you more than the guys that drafted you. You want to leave a legacy,” Green said.
The Bengals play the Cardinals on Sunday and Dehner writes that one of Green’s biggest mentors is Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has played all 16 years of his Hall of Fame career in Arizona.
“For him, he is the Arizona Cardinals legend. He can do anything he wants in the state of Arizona and people are going to stay behind him,” Green said. “It’s so hard now, you see everybody that’s not going well where they want a trade. I think Larry did it the right way…. I always looked at Larry and his situation and how he handled things and wanted to model my game like his,” Green continued. “Never in the media, always in the media for positive things. That’s the biggest thing for me is just watching him. I watch from a distance and how he carries himself on the field. I try to model my game like that.”
When healthy, Green is one of the best receivers in the league. He has six 1,000-yard seasons in his eight seasons but had a career-low 694 receiving yards in 2018. He’s missed the first four games of the season with an ankle injury he suffered on the first day of training camp.
The seven-time Pro Bowler is in the final year of his deal, making $12M in base salary in 2019. Before Green’s ankle injury, owner Mike Brown said the Bengals would not hesitate to extend Green’s deal.
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