Frustrated WR Green wants to stay with Bengals

CINCINNATI — Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said he is frustrated with his season but wants to remain in Cincinnati.

Green met with reporters on Thursday for the first time after TV cameras during last Sunday’s loss to the Ravens appeared to catch Green telling a staffer that he should be traded if the team couldn’t use him effectively.

Green denied that characterization but expressed his frustration with the season during his news conference ahead of this weekend’s game against the Colts.

Green also said he wants to be with the Bengals through the upcoming trade deadline on Nov. 3.

“I think we’re building something special here, and I just want to be a part of the team and help us win,” Green said.

Green left Sunday’s game after he said he suffered a hamstring injury. The seven-time Pro Bowler said the hamstring feels much better after treatment earlier this week, and he is slated to play against Indianapolis.

Green missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury. He and the team failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal this offseason, and Green was given a one-year franchise tag worth $18.2 million. His production is down significantly in five games this season.

In his first year playing in coach Zac Taylor’s system and with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow behind center, Green has caught only 14 of 34 targets for 119 yards and no touchdowns.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats data, Green and Burrow have the lowest total expected points added of any quarterback-receiver tandem in the NFL.

The wide receiver said he understands the perception of a potential rift between him and Taylor but said that’s not the case. Green said that he and Taylor had a “great conversation” and that the coach understands the frustration and what happened on Sunday.

“I think we’re all frustrated about the way we’re playing because we’re way better than what we’re putting on tape,” Green said. “For me, I just have to channel that frustration and keep playing like I have for the last couple of years.”

Green also received public criticism after he did not make an effort to tackle Baltimore’s Marcus Peters after Peters intercepted a throw intended for Green. Between that play and what was captured on the sideline, Green said he has to do a better job of handling his frustration.

“I just can’t let the frustration get to me,” he said. “I’m a leader on this team. I feel like I let my teammates down. That’s the biggest thing. I felt disappointed in myself because that’s not who I am as a person and as a player.”

Since the Bengals drafted Green in the first round of the 2011 draft, he has been one of the team’s top weapons. He is currently tied for second in receiving touchdowns in franchise history (63) and is only four from breaking Chad Johnson’s career mark.

After not playing since 2018, Green said he is still trying to find his way on the field and in Taylor’s offense but remains confident that he’ll be able to regain his previous form.

“I’m just happy to be back out there,” Green said. “I know it’s going to come over time.”

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