A.J. Green is making a ton of money this season. At least a boatload. Definitely more than a peck, a passel or a potful.
And that’s pretty much where the conversation ends when the possibility of the New England Patriots — or any team with some sense — trading for Green is introduced.
Green, 32, missed all of last season and seven of 16 games in 2018, yet the Bengals decided it was in their best interest to franchise Green to the tune of $18.171 million. He’s making over $1 million per game but has just 14 catches on 34 targets for 119 yards in five games.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow is completing 65.2 percent of his passes this season. That’s 41.7 percent to Green and 70 percent to everyone else. Green is dragging down Burrow’s completion percentage by nearly 5 points.
Burrow threw an interception Sunday on a target to Green, whose effort to make a tackle was so egregiously bad that it looked like someone was playing Madden, accidentally switched to control the veteran receiver and didn’t realize it for a few seconds. Green ran parallel to Marcus Peters like there was a reverse magnet keeping the two players apart.
Internet sleuths determined Green mouthed “just trade me” on the sideline Sunday. NESN.com will not pretend to have an expert mouth-reader on staff.
The Patriots do need a wide receiver, and they have plenty of cap space to fit Green on the roster. But if you’ve got $50k in savings and need a car, you’re not going to spend $25k on a 1993 Chrysler LeBaron.
If the Bengals decide to outright release Green, then maybe he’d be worth joining Damiere Byrd, N’Keal Harry, Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewsk on the Patriots’ depth chart. But trading for him would be pure insanity.
The Patriots might not need their cap space now, but they can carry it over to the 2021 season, when they will. Even if the Patriots traded for Green at the Nov. 3 trade deadline, he’d still count nearly $10 million on the salary cap.
Green was a great player in his day. But it’s been three years since he had a 1,000-yard season or played 16 games.
If the Patriots want to add some more talent at wide receiver, it might be worth calling the Bengals about trading for Auden Tate or John Ross.
But Green? No way.