Tagged in: A.J Green

A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals agree to 1-year deal

Veteran receiver A.J. Green, one of the most prolific players in franchise history over his 10 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, it was revealed Wednesday.

The deal is worth up to $8.5 million and includes $6 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Green, who will be 33 at the beginning of next season, will fill a much-needed WR2 hole for the Cardinals and will be the complementary piece to DeAndre Hopkins that the team was seeking. Both Hopkins and Green are among the top five in receiving yards leaguewide over the past 10 seasons, according to ESPN Sports & Information research.

“Time to go to work!” Hopkins tweeted Wednesday.

If Larry Fitzgerald returns for the 2021 campaign, Arizona could feature three future Hall of Fame receivers on its roster. Hopkins essentially carried Arizona’s passing game in 2020, leading the team with 1,407 receiving yards; the next-most productive receiver was Christian Kirk with 621 yards.

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Green will give third-year quarterback Kyler Murray another every-down threat, likely on the opposite side of the field from Hopkins.

Arizona ran three-wide receiver sets the most last season, accounting for 44.9% of its plays. Two-receiver sets accounted for 29.8% of the Cardinals’ plays, and they ran four-receiver sets on 20.3% of plays.

Green’s contributions with the Bengals dropped significantly over the past few seasons because of numerous injuries and apparent frustrations with his role in the offense.

He concluded last season ranked second in Bengals franchise history in career receiving yards (9,430), second in touchdowns (65) and second in total receptions (649). Green also holds the team record for consecutive 100-yard receiving games (five, 2013).

The bulk of Green’s totals, however, came during the first five years of his career. Starting with the 2016 season, the former Georgia standout battled numerous injuries. From that point onward, he missed 29 matches, including the entire 2019 season after he suffered an ankle injury in the first preseason practice.

Green played all 16 games in 2020 but had career single-season low totals of 47 catches for 523 yards and two touchdowns. He caught 43.9% of his targets, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, the lowest of any qualifying Bengals receiver last season.

He was frustrated at times last season. In Week 5 at Baltimore, Green was asked about a sideline exchange in which he appeared to indicate that if the Bengals didn’t want to use him, they should trade him. Green downplayed the interaction in subsequent interviews.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection played the 2020 season on the one-year franchise tag worth $18.2 million after the two sides failed to reach a long-term deal during the offseason.

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Bengals A.J Green signs franchise tender

A.J. Green officially put ink to paper on Friday afternoon. 

The Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver signed the one-year franchise tag tender the team extended to him in March, the team stated. He will make about $18 million this campaign. 

Green wanted a multi-year extension but knew this day was coming all along. The Bengals thought it was best to place him under the franchise tag after the receiver sustained a season-ending left ankle injury on the first day of training camp in 2019. 

The veteran receiver has suffered lower-body injuries and missed substantial time in three of the last four years. But, the Bengals do believe Green is still capable of being a premier No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. The team is enthusiastic to see him back healthy this season with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow under center. 

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“A.J. is one of the best receivers in the NFL,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “He’s an important part of our plans, and we’re thrilled to have him in the fold from Day 1. We’re looking forward to the impact of his talent and leadership on our offense this season.”

Coming into his 10th season, Green ranks second in team history in most receiving categories. 

Green is expected to report to Bengals training camp July 28. He and the team hope it won’t be his final training camp in a Bengals uniform. “From the day that he joined our organization nine years ago, A.J. Green has been an outstanding player and a class act,” Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said in a statement.

“We are pleased that he will be part of the team this year, starting with the first practice. By signing, A.J. puts himself and the team in the best position to have a great season together, and we look forward to the opportunity at the end of the season to discuss keeping him here long-term. He has been an integral part of our team, and we expect this year that he will be the same impact player he has always been.”

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Setback may delay A.J Green´s season debut for Bengals

Bengals coach Zac Taylor uttered the words everyone in Bengal-land has been waiting to hear:

“I do think A.J. will play this week.”

That would be A.J. Green, the team’s best player who has been out all year with an ankle injury. An hour and a half later, when practice started, Green was not at practice.

“It came after the walkthrough,” Taylor said. “He went and got some treatment. It just didn’t feel great, so we held him out of practice today. Now, we’ll go just by day-by-day.

“We felt good about the progress he was making. That’s why I said what I said. I didn’t feel like he could practice today. We’ll get through tonight and see where it’s at (Thursday).”

He injured his ankle in the first practice of training camp this year.

That injury required surgery, as well. It was expected that he’d miss four to six weeks at that point. We’re up to 13 weeks.

Coming off an ankle injury, the question isn’t about straight-ahead running so much as cutting – the key to running good routes. But, at the press conference, Taylor said Green was progressing on that.

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“A.J. has gotten better every single day I’ve seen him,” Taylor said. “I think he’s making great progress. I don’t want to get too specific. But he’s getting confident, and we’re getting confident.

Then whatever happened Wednesday happened.

“He’s been making great progress this week,” Taylor said. “(Last) Wednesday was a good day. Monday was a good day. Now, he’s getting back into the fold. We’ll have a good plan in place for him on Sunday.”

Green, 31, has  played in only one game since Oct. 28 of last year. He was limited to nine games by a right foot injury last year. He missed three games with the injury and then re-injured it in his first game back – that required season-ending surgery.

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