The Cincinnati Bengals kept one of their top players happy on Monday, when they extended the contract of star receiver A.J. Green through 2015.
Green set career marks last season in receptions (98), yards (1,426) and tied his career best with 11 touchdowns. Through his first three seasons he has eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and has at least 65 receptions and seven touchdowns since being drafted fourth overall in the 2011 draft.
Cincinnati must now find a way to keep the man throwing Green the ball happy. Only two of Green's 29 touchdowns haven't been thrown by Andy Dalton. One of those came on a trick play toss by Mohammed Sanu and the other came in the dynamic duos first career game when an injured Dalton was replaced by Bruce Gradkowski.
Dalton earlier on Monday stated that he expected and extension as well and that he was the face of the franchise. Entering his fourth year, Dalton is also eligible for a new contract as his initial rookie-contract comes to an end after the 2014 season. Dalton will make $1.7 million this season, but could be asking for $15 million much like his fellow AFC North quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens' Joe Flacco signed a deal that gives him $20.1 million a year after leading Baltimore to its second Super Bowl victory. The Browns aren't currently shelling out loads of money for their quarterbacks, but could if they select Johnny Manziel in the upcoming NFL Draft.
One is could be Green, who could also be up for a big pay day. Because of his original draft status, Green could see his pay jump from $6.3 million to just over $10 million. There is also an option for the Bengals to place a franchise tag on Green in 2016 before they decided to give him a long-term deal, which may help in re-signing Dalton.