A.J. Green says he wants to play seven more years. If you look at history, the likelihood of that is pretty slim.
Green made that revelation to Bengals.com. It's a bold declaration. But if you look at Green's position and the effectiveness of those who play it, doing it for another seven years is a bit of a reach.
ProFootballFocus.com says Green is very effective now, among the top 10 receivers in the game. His rating for 2017 placed Green seventh on the wide receivers list. PFF also says Green had a 50 percent catch rate for deep balls, which was second among all wide receivers. And his 2.86 yards per route run was second best in the NFL. Only the Falcons Julio Jones, taken in the same 2011 draft class as Jones, was better.
But age is the greatest enemy of a wide receiver.
Green will turn 29 this July. While he is anything but "average," the average career length for an NFL wide receiver is a little over two seasons. That's according to data collected by profootball-reference.com.
Numberfire.com says its data show that a wide receiver drafted in the first round has an average career of about five and three-quarter seasons. This season will be Green's seventh.
Profootball-reference.com also says that from year one to 10, the production level of a wide receiver remains basically the same. But after a wide receiver's 10th season, the decline in production is quick and steep.
In his seventh season, Jerry Rice led the NFL with 15 touchdown receptions. He had 15 in year 10. He had single digits in touchdowns in every one of his eight seasons after that. But Rice's longevity is the exception.
Randy Moss played 13 seasons. He caught a league-record 23 touchdown in his 10th season. But he was catching passes from Tom Brady in a Super Bowl season.
Tim Brown is regarded by many as the third-best receiver in NFL history. Brown played 16 seasons, 15 with the Raiders. But by his 13th season, at age 35, Brown caught just two touchdowns and caught no more in one season after that. Significantly, Brown missed just 13 games total in his final 12 seasons -- 12 of those in his final year when he was just a shell of himself playing for the Buccaneers.
Green has missed 12 games in his career.
Hopefully Green can defy the odds and play 13 seasons in the NFL. But football isn't about longevity, it's about productivity. That, more than anything else, will determine how long Green will play in the NFL.
It will also determine whether or not the Bengals will consider keeping him past his current contract. That expires after three more seasons. He will be 31 when that happens, after the 2019 season.
Now some random thoughts on this random Thursday...
The Reds always have a "puncher's chance" in any game. They're hitting .264 as a team this season. That's tied for sixth-best in baseball and third-best in the National League. They're on track for 220 home runs. That would be 60 more home runs than they hit as a team last season.
But they're incapable of contending for anything this season. That myth is put to rest by one very basic baseball truism.
Teams that go on extended winning streaks do so with solid starting pitching. That's a glaring problem for the Reds. They are last in the Majors in earned run average and in average innings pitched. They also rank last in the Majors in numbers of innings their bullpen has been forced to pitch.
The Reds, when healthy, have many options when it comes to piecing together a five-man starting rotation -- although with the 10-day DL, you need at least three more than that.
Tim Adelman, Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson (recently demoted), Sal Romano, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Homer Bailey, Cody Reed, Jackson Stephens (recently promoted), Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle all are on the Reds' radar. From that mix, the Reds have to find three who can become effective, Major League starting pitchers. Just three.
In the upcoming MLB draft -- in which the Reds have five of the first 107 picks, including the second pick overall -- they have to find two pitchers who can become starters at the Major League level... by 2019.
Maybe they can trade some of the pitchers from the list above who are more suited for the bullpen than starting. Maybe they can package a legitimate minor league prospect with one of the pitchers listed above and bring a near Major League starting pitcher to the Reds organization. Whatever path the Reds choose, they need to do it quickly.
They've captured lightning in the proverbial bottle with Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler. They have decent home-grown talent in Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco. But the price tag on their everyday eight is going nowhere but up.
Crazy as it may seem, if the Reds want to contend, they have to fix their starting pitching now. Or it'll be 2014 all over again...
The NBA playoffs start tonight. All the Cleveland Cavaliers have to do is win one game in Golden State and hold serve at home. But it won't be that easy.
The Warriors are deeper and better than last season. Kevin Durant, a seven footer who can shoot the three and break down defenses, is a major problem for Cleveland. Draymond Green probably won't be as foolish as he was last year, when he took at devastating one-game suspension. And while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are perfect complements to Lebron James, Cleveland is still the lesser talented of the two teams.
Here now is a not so startling prediction: This series will come down to how it's officiated.
If the teams are allowed to "play" -- in other words, if the Cavaliers are allowed to hold and grab like they did last season -- advantage Cleveland. That strategy took Steph Curry completely out of his game. He made double-digit shots in just one of the seven games played last season.
But if the game is tightly officiated, the Cavaliers are in trouble. I don't expect the Cavs to sweep the three games of this potential seven-game series is played in Cleveland. If that happens, the Cavs will have to win twice in Oakland. I'll go with Golden State in six.
But if the Cavs win one of the first two...
Tiger Woods is a mess. His bad back has derailed his golf career and now, apparently, he has a problem with prescription drugs. If it's pain killers that led to his arrest this week, he's got more problems than a bad back.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin might as well head to Kinkos to run off some resumes. The Aggies start the season at UCLA and finish the season at LSU. In the middle are seven of eight games at home, including home games with Alabama and Auburn. But does anyone at this point think the Aggies are going to win the SEC West?...
Smart move here. UK's Hamidou Diallo wasn't close to being ready for an NBA career...
Hard to let this week pass without thinking back on the career of Gregg Allman, who died this past Saturday at the age of 69.
He and his late brother, Duane, formed the band in 1969. And though Duane died just a few years later in a motorcycle accident, Gregg went on to front a band that won numerous Grammys and earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
This song first appeared on the Allman Brothers' second album "Idlewild South." But their connection to Cincinnati is interesting.
They first appeared north of the Mason/Dixon line at the Ludlow Garage here in the Queen City. Former Cincinnati City Councilman and the owner of the Ludlow Garage, Jim Tarbell, told me about this past Sunday on my 700 WLW radio show.
The Garage booked the band for a Sunday show in April of 1970. It was a free concert, promoted only by word of mouth and WEBN. The show, like all at the Ludlow garage, was recorded and eventually made into an album "The Allman Brothers: Live At the Ludlow Garage."
Married six times, once for all of nine days to Cher, Gregg Allman died this past Saturday, far too young but oh so gifted.