Source — Bengals not picking up fifth-year option on WR John Ross

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CINCINNATI — The Bengals have informed wide receiver John Ross that they will not be picking up the fifth year of his rookie contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.

Ross, who was selected ninth overall in the 2017 draft, has struggled to stay on the field during his first three NFL seasons. The former Washington product has played a total of 24 games.

The 24-year-old Ross is set to earn $2.8 million in base salary in 2020.

Under the rules of the current collective bargaining agreement, the value of Ross’ fifth-year option would be equivalent to the transition tag for a wide receiver since he was a top-10 pick. In 2020, the transition tag for a receiver was worth $15.7 million.

In 2019, Ross was on the verge of a promising season. He opened the year with a career-high 158 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a loss at Seattle. A week later, he had four catches for 112 yards and a score in a blowout loss to the San Francisco.

He injured his sternoclavicular joint in a Week 4 loss to Pittsburgh, however, and was placed on injured reserve. He finished last season as a reserve, catching 28 passes for 506 yards and three touchdowns.

Ross has 49 career catches for 716 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Ross joins A.J. Green as Bengals receivers who are not under contract beyond the 2020 season. Green was given a one-year franchise tag after his previous contract lapsed following the 2019 season.

Cincinnati drafted former Clemson wideout Tee Higgins in the second round of this year’s draft.



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