Cincinnati Bengals Rumors: AJ Green Praises Andy Dalton After Criticism, Contract Extension Expected as Jay Gruden Confident QB Improves

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Jan 07, 2014 11:05 AM EST
AJ Green
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green warms up before a team home game in 2013.(Photo : Reuters) "

The Cincinnati Bengals' playoff woes continue following a loss to the San Diego Chargers in the wild card round of the NFL Playoffs. Now the team must start looking in the mirror to try and fix issues before the start of next season. According to plenty of criticism, Andy Dalton is the reason for the postseason failures, something wide receiver AJ Green disagrees with.

The Bengals just finished off their third one-and-done postseason with Dalton taking all of the heat. The quarterback passed for 334 yards and one touchdown, but it is the two interceptions that have given him grief. With the NFL being a quarterback-driven league, many wonder just how safe Dalton's job really is? According to Marvin Lewis, it is secure.

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"He said I am the guy he believes in and he believes that I can get us over the next hump. It's great to hear that from your coach and that's what I wanted to hear," Dalton said, via ESPN.com.

Lewis was not the only one praises Dalton. Green spoke to reporters following the loss and said it was simply unfair to blame this on one guy. He believes it was a total team failure and that Dalton is the guy that can be with the team long-term. Green is also hoping he will be with the team long-term. 

The wide receiver will be entering the final year of his rookie contract next season with a team option for 2015. Of course Green is worth the new deal. The receiver has put up 3,833 yards and 29 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the team, setting career highs this year. He is developing into one of the best in the league, but Green says he is in no rush to get a new contract. 

"Anybody would like to have it done," Green said, via ESPN.com. "I'm not in any financial debt, so no rush."

While Green is a lock for a new deal, Dalton better be careful. The quarterback is preparing to enter a very crucial season as his four-year rookie contract has just one year remaining. Both he and Green will be looking for new deals at the same time which could hurt the quarterback's status if he fails to perform next season. 

Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is in Dalton's corner. It is being reported that it was Gruden who convinced the Bengals to draft Dalton in the first place and he believes the quarterback will prove him right.

"He's going to get better," said Gruden, via FOXSports.com. "He's gotten better. I don't know if you guys think he has but I think he's gotten better each year from his rookie year to his third year. I think there has been significant progress that's he's made and there will be more progress made next year."

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