The Cincinnati Bengals are a wreck. Rookie head coach Zac Taylor is winless through five weeks, and every loss seems to push Cincinnati closer to tearing it all down. If a fire sale with the Green Bay Packers or any other team does happen, wide receiver AJ Green would be one of the first to go.
The supremely talented pass-catcher has seen his best years wasted on the Bengals, but he still has some gas in the tank, and that’s why the Packers should pursue him.
The Packers are a legitimate NFC contender, but they should be actively pursuing receiving help. Star pass-catcher Davante Adams has been a bit up-and-down to begin the season, and is currently dealing with a turf toe injury. The options behind him have been less than stellar.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the clear number two option, and hasn’t produced up to expectations, as he only has 235 yards and one score. Besides Adams and Valdes-Scantling, there’s no other receiver that has over 200 yards receiving. The next closest is running back Aaron Jones, who has a measly 150 yards through the air.
Now that we know Green Bay is an ideal fit for Green, how should the Packers go about acquiring him? Both the Bengals and Packers have picks in all seven rounds, with Green Bay owning four seventh-round selections.
AJ Green is a premier player, and getting him won’t be a cheap endeavor. Cincinnati will probably demand at least a first round selection, a price the Packers should be willing to pay. If Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst can acquire Green and a sixth-round pick for a first round pick and one of the seventh rounders, it would be a no brainer.
Another factor to consider is Green’s expiring contract. After the 2019 season, Green will be an unrestricted free agent. The Packers are pretty strapped for cash at the moment, but clearing some up wouldn’t be a problem. Cutting a bloated veteran contract (looking at you, Jimmy Graham) would be a huge step towards re-signing Green in this hypothetical.
While all of this may seem like a lot for a wide receiver past his prime, there’s a good reason for it. Green can still compete at a high level, and the Packers’ Super Bowl window won’t be open much longer. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has looked mortal in 2019, with only one game with more than 250 yards passing. The offensive line is showing cracks, mostly in the form of injuries. To contend for the Lombardi Trophy, a team has to make gutsy moves, and a trade for Green would certainly be one of those.