Bengals coach Zac Taylor says team isn't trading A.J. Green

Schefter: Green may not think it's worth it to return to Bengals (0:40)

Adam Schefter is not sure if A.J. Green wants to return to the Bengals and adds that if he ever hit the free agent market he would be one of the top prospects. (0:40)

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals axed any speculation about a potential trade of wide receiver A.J. Green.

"We're not trading that guy," said head coach Zac Taylor, who also is the spokesperson for the front office.

With Green in the final year of his four-year contract and the trade deadline looming later this month, the star receiver seemed like a likely trade candidate for the winless Bengals. However, Taylor said any such chatter was unnecessary as Green prepares to return from an ankle injury that has kept him out of the first five games.

"He's a big part of this organization," Taylor said Thursday. "We have a lot of belief in him that when he gets back, he's going to really help us."

The first-year coach's comments came after Green went through individual drills for the first time since he injured his left ankle on July 27 in the opening practice of the preseason. Green was a limited participant at practice, and Taylor ruled him out of the Bengals' game at Baltimore (3-2) on Sunday.

Throughout Green's rehab process, Taylor has been hesitant to give any definitive dates for a potential return. That continued on Thursday, when the coach said he's not sure when the ninth-year receiver will be a full participant at practice.

However, Taylor said Green "is starting to look really good" as he prepares for his eventual return. Now the focus on Green will be his 2019 debut instead of his long-term status with his team.

Taylor was optimistic the Bengals will be able to reach a deal with Green after his $60 million deal expires at the end of this season.

"That's the plan," Taylor said. "I don't want to talk publicly about that. But again, he's a big part of this team, a big part of this organization. When he comes back, he'll be a big boost for us."

In an interview with the team's website prior to Taylor's comments, Green said he wasn't lobbying to be traded, adding he understood the value of playing his entire career with the Bengals.

"I'm prepared for anything," Green told Bengals.com. "A trade's not going to change who I am. I'm still going to play. I'm still going to be A.J."

And based on Taylor's comments Thursday, Green will remain a Bengal the remainder of the season.

"I want the team records," Green told Bengals.com. "I want more Pro Bowls. I want all that so when I leave there is going to be a standard."

Green, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, is second in franchise history in total receptions (602) and receiving yards (8,907) and third in touchdown catches (63). Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson holds the team records in all three categories.