A.J. Green to the Arizona Cardinals: Red flags, high hopes
Free agency frenzy continued today as the Arizona Cardinals struck a one-year deal with seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, A.J. Green.
The deal may signal high hopes for some while raising significant concerns for others. During his tenure in Cincinnati, Green displayed remarkable talent as a pass-catcher but has faced some challenges in recent seasons that have hindered his production.
In a decade with the Cincinnati Bengals, 32-year-old Green amassed top-tier stats with 9,430 receiving yards and 65 touchdowns, according to PFF, despite playing fewer than 10 games from the 2018 through 2019 seasons due to multiple injuries.
In 2020, Green was offered the opportunity to show that he still possessed the talent and durability to shine on the field despite a couple of down years. What we saw, however, was that injury-hampered performance remained a factor for the wide receiver. The Bengals’ inconsistency at the quarterback position also undoubtedly played a substantial role in Green’s struggles, as well.
"Despite the glaringly obvious red flags of the player’s age, injury history, and lack of consistency on the field, the acquisition of Green adds much-needed depth to the Cardinals receiving core in a low-risk deal to complement wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk."
It also provides an additional option for Kyler Murray, particularly if Kirk is moved into the slot position that he is arguably best suited for (assuming Larry Fitzgerald is finally prepared to move on from his prolific NFL career this off-season).
Adding Green to the mix also highlights the fading possibility of Andy Isabella ever gaining the opportunity to make a greater impact with the Arizona Cardinals offense. Despite potential concerns around Green’s health and consistency, if he manages to resurrect his All-Pro wide receiver abilities this fall, the Cardinals passing game will be well-situated to provide Murray with a powerful set of play-makers.