The Cardinals might still be looking for a wide receiver in the draft, but they removed some of the urgency on Thursday when they agreed to a new one-year deal with veteran A.J. Green.
Green had been on the free agent market, but there was always the possibility he would return to the team. After DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, the Cards had a hole after Christian Kirk left in free agency. The team also re-signed Antoine Wesley at the position.
Green had 54 catches for 848 yards and three touchdowns last season, his first with the Cardinals.
The deal reportedly will be worth $3 million guaranteed with a chance to make up to $6 million; Green’s deal in 2021 was worth $6M.
Just because the Cardinals are bringing back Green does not prevent the team from drafting a wide receiver, even in the first round. It does, however, provide more flexibility in their choices — or even buy time if the team were to end up with a player rehabbing from a serious injury, such as Alabama’s Jameson WIlliams.
“The way we put the team back together I like,” director of player personnel Dru Grigson said on the “Big Red Rage” on Thursday night. “We had an 11-win team and we keep re-signing the guys who helped us get 11 wins, that are part of the culture.
“A.J. has been around the block. He is the consummate pro. He’s at a position of need, especially being an outside guy, and a guy we wanted to bring back.”
The team also still has Andy Isabella and Andre Baccellia at the position too, although Isabella had been given permission to seek a trade earlier in the offseason.
Green, who will turn 34 at the outset of training camp, missed only one game last season and that was for Covid. His yardage total was his best since 2017 and his yards-per-catch average of 15.7 was his best since the 16.3 he posted in his rookie season of 2011.