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A.J. Green thinks Andy Dalton will get extension before him, and he's fine with it

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
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Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) and wide receiver A.J. Green (18) in the tunnel prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

A.J. Green makes Andy Dalton look good both on and off the field, it turns out.

Green is viewed as one of the NFL's brightest stars at wide receiver, and he and Dalton have connected 260 times (with Green occasionally bailing out his off-target quarterback) in their three seasons together in the NFL for 3,833 yards and 29 touchdowns.

In theory, they make a good pair and Green wants to keep that relationship going.

“We came in together. That’s my guy. He helped me where I am. I helped him and we took the Bengals to a different level,” Green told Geoff Hobson of the team's official website. “The Bengals were losing a lot before we came. I feel like we turned it around."

And that's why Green believes that Dalton, who is entering the final year of his contract, is going to remain with the Bengals for a long time, too.

“I know they know he’s the guy," Green said of Dalton. "I feel like they’re going to get something done before the season starts.”

By "get something done," Green means a contract. Why wouldn't the Bengals lock of Green first? Because they have time on their side. Although Green and Dalton were in the same draft class in 2011, Dalton — as a second-rounder — received a standard four-year deal. A top-10 overall pick that year, Green's deal had a fifth-year player option that the Bengals would have been nuts not to have invoked, which they already did at $10.5 million.

The Bengals and Green still technically could work on an extension, but getting Green at that salary — where the franchise-tag number for receivers could approach $13 milion next year — makes a lot of sense for the team. Besides, Green isn't too worried. 

“I think I’m on the backburner just because of the option. That’s fine with me,” Green said. “I don’t even look at it like that. I just go out there and play and my time will come.

“It’s not surprising. Teams always want to wait. I’m fine with my option and my $10 million. I’ll take it.”

Well, Green seems to know the business pretty well. He also knows that Dalton is not the most popular figure in Cincinnati after the team's third straight playoff loss with him at the helm. Dalton's combined stats in the three games: 56.9 percent completions, one touchdown and six interceptions.

But Green feels that the criticism is largely misguided and unjustified.

“A lot of people give him crap about not winning a playoff game, but we’ve made the playoffs the last three seasons. We’ve won 10 or more games (twice). Playoff games…we’re still young. I feel like we’re going to win them, it just takes time,” Green said.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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