AJ Green had been the Bengals’ go-to receiver, when healthy, since 2011, when the team selected him with the fourth overall pick in the draft, but even he now seems to know his best days are behind him.
DeAndre Hopkins, on the other hand, is one of the top receivers in the league, and he, at times, looks uncoverable. But the Cardinals have failed to find a consistent No. 2 to pair alongside Hopkins, which is why they signed Green to a one-year deal earlier in the offseason.
Green has battled injuries over the past few seasons, and it will be interesting to see what level of production the Cardinals get from him. He’ll clearly be motivated to do well, though, having signed a “prove it” deal.
It does appear that Green has brought the right mindset to Arizona, and is checking his ego at the door. Rather than talking about what he did in the past, he looks to be leaning into the No. 2 role quite well, judging by these recent comments about Hopkins.
“I’m always team-first,” Green said, via the Arizona Republic. “When I was the guy in Cincinnati for 10 years, I always wanted another guy. I had Tyler Boyd, and we had Marv Jones. We had some great guys. My thing is, I don’t want to be forced the ball and here, I don’t have to be forced the ball.
“You’ve got Hop on one side, you’ve got me on the other and you’ve got (Christian) Kirk working the middle. It creates a lot of matchups, and that’s why I picked this place.”
Green has drawn the majority of opposing teams’ coverage for most of his career, given how barren the Bengals’ receiving corps has been, so it will be interesting to see how he fares with only one defensive back covering him.