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A.J. Green, Bengals agree on four-year extension

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The Bengals aren't letting wide receiver A.J. Green go anywhere.

The franchise wideout put the finishing touches on a four-year contract extension, the team announced Friday. The deal is worth $60, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Cincinnati opens the season against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday and wanted to get the deal done before a Friday flight to California.

The deal places Green in line with other mega-contracts signed recently by Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas.

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Green has been one of the most visible faces of Cincinnati's franchise since being drafted No. 4 overall in 2011. In each of his first four seasons, he's eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving, putting him alongside Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history to do so. In that four-year time span, he has the third-most catches to begin a career in NFL history.

As the Bengals have shown over the last decade, they are a franchise that cherishes stability, perhaps even to a fault. But signing Green long-term was one of the most obvious decisions they've confronted yet.

Head coach Marvin Lewis has not won a playoff game with the Bengals yet, but after watching his offense sputter without Green in 2014 -- he missed three games due to toe, bicep and head injuries -- there was little doubt he could accomplish that goal without one of the best wideouts in football.

Perhaps, the best example of his impact on the field came during a 27-0 beat down the Bengals suffered at the hands of the Colts last year. Green was on the sidelines and the Bengals' passing game wasn't respected in the least.

Lewis knows this, of course. The only surprise is that it took this long to get a deal done.

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