With the NFL trade deadline approaching, while Green could be traded, the Bengals might not have many options. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green finds himself at the center of rumors leading into the NFL trade deadline, but interest in the NFL star might be limited.

Green, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, has been recognized as one of the NFL’s best receivers in the past decade. Unfortunately, it seems age and injuries have put a damper on how he is viewed across the league.

With the NFL trade deadline approaching, while Green could be traded, the Bengals might not have many options.

According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, many in the NFL believe Green is past his prime, which is part of the reason his market could be limited.

Green hoped to cash in with a lucrative contract extension this offseason. Instead, the Bengals placed the franchise tag on their star receiver. After the club ruled out a sign-and-trade, Green relented by signing the one-year deal.

Green, the No. 4 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, started his career with a bang. After making the Pro Bowl in his rookie season, finishing with 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns, it sparked an incredible run for the 6-foot-4 weapon.

He posted five consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards, adding three years with double-digit touchdowns. After hauling in 75 catches for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, Green was poised to continue an incredible career.

Unfortunately, injuries have taken a toll on his abilities. A toe injury forced him to miss seven games in 2018, and things got even worse in 2019. He missed the entire season after undergoing ankle surgery during the summer.

While he has played in six games this season, Green doesn’t look like the playmaking receiver fans fell in love with. He is averaging a career-low 9.8 yards per catch and has hauled in just 48.9 percent of passes thrown his way. On top of that, his 4.8 receiving yards per target is abysmal.

A change of scenery, especially to a contender with a great quarterback, could be a solution. Green has seemed disinterested on the field at times this season, putting out less than full effort. Being traded to a team like the Baltimore Ravens or Green Bay Packers might give him a spark, leading to better play.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the only issue for a team exploring a trade. Green is owed $18.17 million under the franchise tag this season and isn’t coming close to earning that salary. Any club that acquired him would need to send a player back to lessen the cap hit.

There’s still a chance the Bengals trade Green. The emergence of rookie Tee Higgins, paired with Tyler Boyd, gives them two receivers to build around. If Cincinnati can get a mid-round pick for Green, it should pull the trigger.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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