CINCINNATI – Bengals receiver A.J. Green said Monday that he would like for his next contract to get done before the end of next season, but added that he was content waiting in the event it didn't come together.
"Anybody would like to have it done," the Pro Bowl receiver said one day after his team was eliminated from the AFC playoffs. "I'm not in any financial debt, so no rush."
Even though the latter sentiment was a joke, it doesn't appear he's hurting for cash these days. Green is at the end of the third year of a four-year deal that will end up paying him nearly $20 million total.
Drafted in the first round out of Georgia in 2011, Green is in the midst of his rookie contract. The Bengals' next pick in that year's draft, quarterback Andy Dalton, also will be entering the final year of his first contract. He also feels confident the front office will bring him back when it feels ready.
As he heads to Atlanta, where he has an offseason home, Green said he'll be patient as he trains the next few months. He is confident the appropriate extension will come in time.
"I'll just play it by ear," Green said. "My body of work speaks for itself. Whatever they want."
Green finished the 2013 regular season by setting career highs in receptions (98) and receiving yards (1,426). He also had 11 touchdowns for the second straight season and came within 15 yards of tying the franchise's season record for receiving yards.
In Sunday's wild-card game against the San Diego Chargers, Green caught three passes for 34 yards but dropped a crucial deep ball near the goal line late in the fourth quarter. A reception there had the potential to close the Chargers' then-10-point lead.
In three career postseason games, Green has 13 catches off 32 targets. He has only 161 yards receiving in those games, and no touchdowns.
When he comes back for training camp in August, Green said he wants to be more of a leader.
"I have to be more vocal and demand things," Green said. "It's going to be hard but I feel like I've done enough here to say some things. I still have to be more vocal. Not selfish, but talk to people."