When asked if the value of future markets -- specifically what is available next offseason -- impacts what the Bengals are able to negotiate now, Tobin said “you always take the burden at hand.”
“Joe’s been a great player for us, and we can we want him around here,” Tobin said. “We know what he is. He came in and earned it. He came in somewhat under some tough circumstances and he showed everybody that he was the player and the person that we believe he is and would become. He’s a guy that we’re proud of, ... Regardless of what’s in the draft next year, what’s in free agency, we know that Joe is a piece that we want them so we’ll work to see if that can come together.”
The Bengals held off on giving A.J. Green the long-term deal he wanted this offseason, but he will have a chance to earn one if he proves himself healthy this season, Tobin said. Green is playing on a franchise tag worth $18 million.
Tobin declined to say how close the Bengals were to getting a long-term contract done with Green. Similarly, he couldn’t say if cornerback William Jackson is in line for an extension but noted he thinks Jackson will have a big year after playing through injuries in 2019. Jackson is playing on a fifth-year option.
The Bengals surprisingly spent more than $153 million (in total expenses through 2023) through free agency this offseason, and Tobin said he’s pleased with where the roster is heading into training camp. Veterans arrived for physicals Sunday and will gradually work up to normal practices over the next two weeks.
“We went into the offseason with a plan,” Tobin said. “Not all plans come together. You never know how things are gonna go in free agency and it’s very hard to predict the draft. But we are incredibly satisfied with what we were able to accomplish this offseason. We think we have a lot of really good pieces walking in the building today and tomorrow. It’s great to see the guys. The guys who have come that I’ve seen really look good, they are healthy, they are ready to go and they are excited about the season. We are very excited about the season and getting started. It’s been a long time.”
The COVID-19 pandemic makes roster decisions a little more challenging this preseason, especially considering there are no exhibition games to evaluate players and free agents can only visit for physicals and only if the roster is under 80 during camp.
Cincinnati already had one player opt out of this season, as offensive tackle Isaiah Prince was announced on the transactions list last week, and Tobin confirmed that defensive tackle Josh Tupou has decided to opt-out, as was reported last week.