The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver won’t be returning for a third season with the Arizona Cardinals offensive unit in 2023.
Back in late December, future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt told the Arizona Cardinals that he was calling it quits. On Monday, another NFL great let the organization know that he also wouldn’t be returning in 2023.
A.J. Green, a seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, has decided to retire from the Cards after 12 professional campaigns. Many eyebrows were raised when former general manager Steve Keim originally acquired Green back in 2021. The 6 foot 4, 207 pounder was a vital piece of the scoring attack during his first year with the team, but his performance this past fall indicated that is was time to hang up the cleats.
Green racked up respectable numbers for Arizona two years ago when he hauled in 54 passes for 848 yards and three touchdowns. Even more impressive was the 15.7 yards per reception that he averaged that season while working with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
Keim was hoping for a repeat performance out of Green in 2022, but the veteran wideout appeared to be just going through the motions. In the 15 games (10 starts) he appeared in, the former first-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals tallied a measly 24 catches for just 236 yards and two scores. Even more distressing was the fact that Green averaged an ugly 9.8 yards per reception.
Unfortunately, many members of the Red Sea will always remember the major blunder Green made against the Green Bay Packers in October of ’21. The Cards were trailing 24-21 with 15 seconds left in regulation, but were knocking on victory’s door with a second and goal from the Packers five-yard line. Green inexplicably failed to turn around for a Murray pass that resulted in an interception, and Arizona suffered their first loss of the promising campaign.
Two more Arizona Cardinals could follow A.J. Green into retirement in 2023
There are two additional Redbirds who are expected to follow Green into retirement sometime soon. These individuals are also from the offensive side of the ball.
Rodney Hudson, a three-time Pro Bowl center, should’ve called it quits last year. The 6 foot 2, 315 pounder was talked into returning, however, and the results were not favorable. The 33-year-old Hudson had a damaged knee that ended his campaign after a total of just four starts.
Another offensive lineman who was persuaded to give it another go in ’22 could also be ready to call it a day. Justin Pugh, a left guard who came to the desert back in 2018, played in just five contests last season. The 32-year-old was sidelined for good after he tore his ACL during a week-six defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.
Green was the fourth-overall selection of the Bengals back in 2011, and went on to enjoy a sensational pro career. In 158 total appearances (144 starts). The former University of Georgia product tallied 727 receptions, 10,514 receiving yards and 70 touchdowns.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)
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