Veteran wide receiver AJ Green, one of the most prolific players in franchise history during his 10 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, is finalizing a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals worth up to $ 8.5 million, a source said. to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday. .
The deal includes a guaranteed $ 6 million, a source told ESPN.
Green, who will be 33 at the start of next season, will fill a much-needed WR2 gap for the Cardinals and will be the complementary piece to DeAndre Hopkins the team was looking for. Green has the most receiving yards in the past 10 years, while Hopkins is third.
If Larry Fitzgerald returns for the 2021 season, Arizona can count on three future Hall of Fame receivers on its roster.
Hopkins essentially led 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.
Green will give third-year quarterback Kyler Murray another threat on every attempt, probably on the opposite side of the field from Hopkins.
Arizona ran the most 3-way wide receiver sets last season, accounting for 44.9% of his plays. Two-receiver sets accounted for 29.8% of plays and four-receiver sets executed 20.3% of plays.
Green’s contributions with the Bengals dropped significantly in recent seasons due to numerous injuries and apparent frustrations with his role on offense.
He finished last season second in Bengals franchise history in yards per reception (9,430), second in touchdowns (65) and second in total receptions (649). Green also holds the team’s record for the most consecutive 100-yard receiving games (five, 2013).
However, most of Green’s totals came during the first five years of his career. Starting in the 2016 season, the former Georgia standout battled numerous injuries. From that point on, he missed 29 games, including the entire 2019 season after sustaining an ankle injury in the first preseason practice.
Green played all 16 games in 2020, but had career low totals in a single season of 47 receptions for 523 yards and two touchdowns. He caught 43.9% of his goals, according to ESPN Stats & Information, the lowest of any Bengals receiver rated last season.
He was frustrated at times last season. In Week 5 in Baltimore, Green was asked about a sideline trade in which he seemed to indicate that if the Bengals didn’t want to use him, they should trade him. Green downplayed the interaction in later interviews.
The seven-time Pro Bowl selection played the 2020 season with the one-year franchise tag worth $ 18.2 million after the two sides failed to reach a long-term agreement during the offseason.
ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss and Ben Baby contributed to this report.