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Cardinals Reportedly Gaining A.J. Green As Free Agent

Veteran receiver would be tall option on other side from Hopkins

Wide receiver was always going to be a fascinating position to watch this offseason for the Cardinals.

They had DeAndre Hopkins, sure. But what would happen in the next development of Andy Isabella? Christian Kirk? KeeSean Johnson? What, ultimately, would Larry Fitzgerald decide about his future? The Cards seemed to need another bigger receiver to play on the outside across from D-Hop -- who would that be?

It sounds like one of those questions got answered Wednesday, in the last few hours of the "legal tampering" period before free agency (and the new league year) opened at 1 p.m., when multiple reports spilled out that the Cards would be signing veteran Bengals free-agent-to-be A.J. Green to a one-year deal (worth $6 million). It was an attention-grabber to be sure.

Something to remember: Nothing is official yet -- players on other teams can't be signed until after today's 1 p.m. deadline, and most won't sign until they can undergo a physical from their new team. Assuming the Green news comes to fruition, it won't be right away.

But it's an interesting move. Green is coming off his worst two seasons, in 2018 because of injury and last season, in part, because the Bengals started a rookie QB in Joe Burrow and then had to turn to guys who were, let's just say, below average. Green had 47 catches for 523 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. This will be his age 33 season, so he isn't young. But he'd provide a big (6-foot-4) target to help in the offense and probably benefit from the attention Hopkins brings on the other side. It also could potentially let Christian Kirk play in the slot.

If the latter would be true, then you have to wonder what Fitz is going to do. Larry would have to be intrigued to play with Green, who has long idolized Fitz and patterned his game after him. But Green also could be a Fitz replacement, a veteran guy with a strong work ethic who inevitably would have Fitz's blessing to take that role.

Bringing in another plus-30-year-old definitely underscores the push for now in 2021. As free agency opens, it's a roster that has had an interesting start to the offseason.

A.J. Green (left) and Larry Fitzgerald after a game at State Farm Stadium in 2015.
A.J. Green (left) and Larry Fitzgerald after a game at State Farm Stadium in 2015.

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