A. J. Green
Green with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020
No. 18 – Arizona Cardinals
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1988-07-31) July 31, 1988 (age 33)
Summerville, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:207 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:Summerville
(Summerville, South Carolina)
College:Georgia
NFL Draft:2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Receptions:649
Receiving yards:9,430
Receiving average:14.5
Receiving touchdowns:65
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Adriel Jeremiah Green (born July 31, 1988), commonly known as A.J. Green, is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Georgia and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, where he spent ten seasons prior to joining the Cardinals.

In his first season with the Bengals, Green made the 2012 Pro Bowl becoming the first rookie receiver to make a Pro Bowl appearance in eight years, and went on to accumulate a total of seven Pro Bowl appearances throughout his career. From 2011 to 2013, Green caught more passes (260) than any other player in NFL history during their first three seasons, a record that was later broken by Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. (288). He has had six seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards.

Green signed with the Cardinals in 2021. He left the Bengals ranked second in franchise history, behind only Chad Johnson, in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions.[1]

Early life

Green is the son of Woodrow and Dora Green; Woodrow was a steelworker and truck driver and Dora, a clerk at a Wal-Mart.[2][3] When A. J. was age 4, his only sibling, older brother Avionce, died in a car wreck on the way to a school carnival; the wreck also left their aunt paralyzed.[4] Green was on his elementary school's juggling team, telling The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he learned to juggle as early as second grade. Green said he could juggle as many as four items at once, and that the ability helped the development of his hand-eye coordination.[5]

High school career

Green attended Summerville High School in Summerville, South Carolina, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track.[6] He played as a wide receiver for the Summerville Green Wave football team, under coach John McKissick. He was widely considered to be one of the top national football prospects of the Class of 2008 and was listed #1 by Sports Illustrated.[7][8] Green earned All-State honors four times and was the only junior nominated to the 2006 USA Today All-American first team following 75 receptions for 1,422 yards and 16 touchdowns during his sophomore season. Green was also selected as a member of the Rivals.com Junior All-America team based on those stats.[9] As a freshman, he had 57 receptions for 1,217 yards and eight touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 60 catches for 1,203 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Green's 5,373 career receiving yards rank second in the all-time career receiving records of the National Federation of High Schools. His 279 career receptions rank fourth.[10] In June 2006, Green was profiled by Sports Illustrated as part of its “Where Will They Be?” stories documenting athletes with the potential of becoming a future great, alongside Peter Uihlein, John Tavares, Tyreke Evans, Elena Delle Donne, and others.[11] Sports Illustrated compared him to the then-Oakland Raiders wideout Randy Moss and predicted Green will be in the NFL by 2011. Green was also on the school's track & field team, where he competed as a long jumper (top-jump of 19 ft 6 in) and triple jumper (40 ft 0 in).[12]

Rivals.com ranked Green as their No. 9 prospect for the high school class of 2008, while Scout.com named Green their No. 10 prospect nationally.[13][14] He participated in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Green was also on the Summerville High high school basketball team that claimed the 2007–2008 South Carolina state championship in a championship game against Spartanburg (S.C.) High.[15] The game was played in memory of their fallen assistant coach, Captain Louis Mulkey of the Charleston Fire Department in South Carolina, who died responding to a fire with eight other firefighters on June 18, 2007.[16]

College career

Green verbally committed to attend the University of Georgia in October 2006,[17] and made his commitment official by signing a letter of intent to play at Georgia on February 6, 2008.[18] He played for coach Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs football team from 2008 to 2010.[19]

2008 season

Green had a solid freshman season with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2008. He joined a wide receivers unit that contained Mohamed Massaquoi, Michael Moore, Kris Durham, and Demiko Goodman.[20] In the fourth game of his college career, against Arizona State, Green had eight catches for 159 yards and a touchdown in the 27–10 victory.[21] For this, he was named SEC Player of the Week.[22] On October 18, against SEC East rival Vanderbilt, he had seven receptions for 132 receiving yards in the 24–14 victory.[23]

He finished the 2008 season with 56 catches for 963 yards and eight touchdowns, all Georgia freshman school records.[24] He also led the SEC in receiving yards, with the third-highest total in UGA school history.[25] He was named second-team All-SEC and Freshman of the Year by the SEC coaches, and was named to the Associated Press All-SEC first team.[26]

2009 season

As a sophomore, Green became the top option for the Georgia wide receivers group that added newcomers Tavarres King and Rantavious Wooten.[27] On September 19, he had seven receptions for 137 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in a 52–41 victory on the road against Arkansas.[28] He followed that up with eight receptions for 153 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in a 20–17 victory over Arizona State in the next game.[29] On November 14, against Auburn, he suffered a left shoulder injury, which kept him out of the remaining regular season games.[30] He returned for the 2009 Independence Bowl, December 28, in Shreveport, Louisiana where he made six catches totaling 57 yards in the 44–20 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies.[31] Green ended the 2009 regular season with 53 catches for 808 yards and six touchdowns, leading the team in all those categories despite missing time due to injury.[32]

Among other awards, Green was elected All-SEC First Team by Associated Press, SEC Coaches, ESPN, Phil Steele, and Sporting News.[33]

2010 season

Green was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 regular season after he admitted to selling his 2009 Independence Bowl Jersey for $1,000 to former North Carolina defensive back Chris Hawkins, who the NCAA described as an agent or someone who markets amateur athletes.[34][35] As part of his punishment, he was required to repay $1,000 to a charity.[34] Green returned from the suspension on October 2 and had seven receptions for 119 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in a 29–27 road loss to Colorado.[36] On November 6, against Idaho State, he had six receptions for 103 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in the 55–7 victory.[37] In the following game against rival Auburn, he had nine receptions for 164 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in the 49–31 road loss.[38] Green finished the 2010 season with a team-high 57 catches for 848 yards and nine touchdowns.[39][40][41]

On January 9, 2011, Green officially declared for the 2011 NFL Draft.[39] He finished his three seasons at the University of Georgia with 166 receptions for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns.[42]

College statistics

A.J. Green Receiving
Season Team GP Rec Yards TD
2008 Georgia 13 56 963 8
2009 Georgia 10 53 808 6
2010 Georgia 9 57 848 9
College Totals[43] 32 166 2,619 23

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
6 ft 3+58 in
(1.92 m)
211 lb
(96 kg)
34+38 in
(0.87 m)
9+14 in
(0.23 m)
4.50 s 1.56 s 2.63 s 4.21 s 6.91 s 34+12 in
(0.88 m)
10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
18 reps 10
All values from NFL Combine[44]

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green in 2011.
A.J. Green in 2011.

Green was selected in the first round with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.[45] He became the highest drafted wide receiver in Georgia school history, breaking the mark set by Lindsay Scott, who went 13th overall in 1984.[46] On July 28, 2011, Green agreed to a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals worth $19.6 million. After signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, Green became a member of School of the Legends (SOTL) in 2011.[47] Green was featured in the 2011 NFLPA Rookie Debut "One Team" Celebration which streamed live on YouTube from New York City's Cipriani Wall Street. The event was produced by SOTL, a licensed partner of the NFLPA, and employed YouTube's live streaming platform.[48]

2011 season

See also: 2011 Cincinnati Bengals season

Green's first NFL reception was a 41-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bruce Gradkowski against the Cleveland Browns in the Bengals' 2011 regular season opener, a 27–17 victory.[49] In the following game, Green recorded his first 100-yard game with ten receptions for 124 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown in a 24–22 loss to the Denver Broncos.[50] By the end of his rookie season, Green recorded four 100-yard games and led all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards in 15 games.[51] His seven touchdown receptions was second among rookies – one behind Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. On December 18, 2011, Green and fellow rookie quarterback Andy Dalton surpassed the all-time NFL record for yards and receptions by a rookie quarterback/receiver tandem.[52] One week later on December 24, 2011, Green's 1,031 yards surpassed Cris Collinsworth's franchise record of 1,009 yards set in 1981 for most receiving yards by a rookie.[53][54] Green made his playoff debut in the Wild Card Round against the Houston Texans. In the 31–10 loss, he had five receptions for 47 receiving yards.[55] Green earned a Pro Bowl nomination for his rookie season in addition to being named to the NFL All-Rookie Team.[56][57] He was ranked 77th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2012.[58]

2012 season

See also: 2012 Cincinnati Bengals season

In Week 3 of the 2012 regular season, Green caught nine passes for a career-high 183 yards in a 38–31 win over the Washington Redskins.[59] He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September.[60] In Week 6, against the Cleveland Browns, he had seven receptions for 135 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the 34–24 loss.[61] In Week 9, he caught a 56-yard touchdown against the New York Giants extending his touchdown streak to eight consecutive games, the longest in the NFL by a receiver and second-longest overall.[62] He extended the streak to nine following a four-yard touchdown in a 28–6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11.[63][64] On December 23, Green recorded his first career lost fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he finished the game with 10 receptions for 116 yards, including a 21-yard reception that set up the game-winning field goal.[65] Green gained over 100 receiving yards in five different games and was selected to his second Pro Bowl in his second year in the league.[66] He finished the season with 97 receptions for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the Bengals' Wild Card Round loss to the Houston Texans, he was the team's leading receiver with five receptions for 80 yards.[67] In the 2013 Pro Bowl, he had 119 yards and three touchdowns.[68] He was ranked 16th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2013.[69]

2013 season

See also: 2013 Cincinnati Bengals season

Green in a game against the Steelers in 2013.
Green in a game against the Steelers in 2013.

Green started off the 2013 season with nine receptions for 162 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in a 24–21 loss to the Chicago Bears.[70] In Week 7, against the Detroit Lions, he scored on a career-high 82-yard touchdown reception on the Bengals' first drive of the game.[71] In Week 10, against the Baltimore Ravens, he recorded a 51-yard touchdown reception on the game's last play in regulation to tie the game. However, the Bengals eventually lost in overtime.[72] He set a franchise-record five consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards from Week 6 to Week 10.[73] In Week 16, against the Minnesota Vikings, he had seven receptions for 97 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in the 42–14 victory.[74] Green set new career highs in 2013 for receptions (98) and receiving yards (1,426, which was the second highest total in Bengals history), while scoring 11 touchdowns.[75] He was targeted a franchise-record 178 times, breaking the 174 targets for Carl Pickens in 1996.[76] He was named to the Pro Bowl and was ranked ninth by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2014.[77][78] His 260 career receptions tallied from 2011-2013 set an NFL record among receivers in their first three seasons, which was later broken by Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in 2016 after both tallied 288.[79]

2014 season

See also: 2014 Cincinnati Bengals season

Green caught six passes for 131 yards, including a 77-yard fourth quarter touchdown reception, in the Bengals 23–16 win over the Baltimore Ravens on opening day.[80] In Week 2, he suffered a game-ending ligament injury on the Bengals opening drive against the Atlanta Falcons, resulting in Green's first career NFL game without a reception.[81][82] He returned the following week against the Tennessee Titans to record six receptions for 102 yards in the 33–7 victory.[83] In Week 5, against the New England Patriots, he aggravated his lingering toe injury and missed the following three games.[84] In Week 14, he recorded 224 yards on 11 receptions (a 20.4 average) and one touchdown in a 42–21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.[85]

Despite missing three games and nearly all of two more, Green still recorded his fourth consecutive 1,000 yard season, finishing the year with 69 receptions for 1,041 yards and six touchdowns.[86] However, his injuries ultimately forced him to miss the postseason for the first time in his career.[87] He was ranked 37th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015.[88]

2015 season

See also: 2015 Cincinnati Bengals season

In Week 3 of the 2015 season, Green caught 10 passes for a career-high 227 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns in a 28–24 win over the Baltimore Ravens.[89] His 227 yards was the second highest single game total in franchise history, trailing only Chad Johnson's 260 receiving yards in a 2006 game against the San Diego Chargers.[90] In Week 8, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he had 11 receptions for 118 receiving yards and a touchdown in the 16–10 victory.[91] In Week 12, against the St. Louis Rams, he recorded his second multi-touchdown game of the season.[92] In Week 13 against the Cleveland Browns and Week 14 against the Steelers, he recorded consecutive games going over 100 receiving yards while recording a receiving touchdown.[93][94] He finished the 2015 season with 86 receptions, 1,297 yards, and ten touchdowns.[95]

During the Wild Card Round against the Steelers, he caught five passes for 71 yards and his first postseason touchdown reception, which put the Bengals up 16–15 with less than two minutes remaining. However, a late turnover and penalty by the Bengals loomed large, yielding elimination as the Bengals lost 16–18.[96] He earned his fifth straight Pro Bowl and was ranked 16th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[97]

2016 season

See also: 2016 Cincinnati Bengals season

In the Bengals' season opener against the New York Jets, Green had 12 receptions for 180 receiving yards, including a 54-yard touchdown as the Bengals won by a score of 23–22. Green had three key receptions on the Bengals' drive to set up the late go-ahead field goal.[98] On September 29, he caught 10 passes for 173 receiving yards and a touchdown during a 22–7 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football in Week 4.[99] On October 23, the Bengals defeated the Cleveland Browns in Week 7, with Green finishing the win with eight receptions for 169 receiving yards and a 48-yard touchdown reception.[100] The following game, Green finished with nine catches for 121 receiving yards in a 27–27 tie with the Washington Redskins in Week 8.[101] Green returned in Week 10 and caught seven passes for 68 receiving yards and a touchdown during the Bengals' 21–20 loss at the New York Giants.[102]

On November 20, Green sustained a tear to his hamstring in the first quarter of a Week 11 16–12 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He was inactive for the next five games before being placed on injured reserve prior to the regular-season finale.[103][104] He finished the season with 66 receptions, 964 receiving yards, and four touchdown receptions in ten games and ten starts. The 2016 season was Green's first in the NFL without reaching 1,000 yards receiving, coming up 36 yards shy.[105] Despite the injury, Green was named to his sixth straight Pro Bowl on December 20.[106] He was ranked 17th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[107]

2017 season

See also: 2017 Cincinnati Bengals season

In Week 3, against the Green Bay Packers, Green recorded ten receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown in the 27–24 overtime loss.[108] During Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills, Green had two passes deflected off his hands that were intercepted and he lost a fumble, but still had an impressive outing with seven receptions for 189 receiving yards as the Bengals won 20–16.[109] During Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Green got into a fight with Jalen Ramsey, resulting in both players being ejected and his first ever foul.[110][111] On November 9, Green was fined $42,541.[112] In Week 10 against the Tennessee Titans, he recorded five receptions for 115 receiving yards and a touchdown as the Bengals lost 24–20.[113] In Week 13 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he recorded two receiving touchdowns in the 23–20 loss.[114] On December 19, 2017, Green was named to his seventh straight Pro Bowl.[115] Overall, he finished the 2017 season with 75 receptions for 1,078 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.[116] 2017 marked the seventh consecutive season that Green led the Bengals in receiving yards, breaking the mark of six set by Chad Ochocinco and Cris Collinsworth.[76] He was ranked 22nd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[117]

2018 season

See also: 2018 Cincinnati Bengals season

On September 13, 2018, Green had the first three-touchdown game of his professional career in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, completing the hat-trick all in the first half, with each of his first three catches resulting in touchdowns in the 34–23 victory.[118] In Week 4, against the Atlanta Falcons, with the Bengals trailing by five with only 12 seconds remaining, Dalton connected with Green on a 13-yard pass to give the Bengals the game-winning points.[119] On October 7. in a 27–17 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 5, Green caught six passes for 112 yards, setting a franchise record with his 32nd 100-yard receiving game.[120] He suffered a toe injury in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and missed the next three games.[121] He returned in Week 13 against the Denver Broncos but re-injured the toe and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on December 5.[122] He finished the 2018 season with 46 receptions for 694 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns, ending his Pro Bowl streak at seven seasons.[123] He was ranked 58th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2019.[124]

2019 season

See also: 2019 Cincinnati Bengals season

During training camp, Green suffered torn ligaments in his ankle while practicing with the team at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, Ohio. Despite being expected to only miss a handful of games early in the season,[125] Green end up skipping the entire year due to his injury, being inactive for every game before being placed on injured reserve on December 23, 2019.[126]

2020 season

See also: 2020 Cincinnati Bengals season

On March 16, 2020, the Bengals placed the franchise tag on Green.[127] He signed the one-year tender on July 17, 2020.[128] He made his official return from the injury in the Bengals' 2020 regular season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.[129] He scored his first touchdown since Week 8 of the 2018 season in Week 11 against the Washington Football Team.[130] Overall, in the 2020 season, he finished with 47 receptions for 523 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.[131]

Arizona Cardinals

Green signed a one-year deal worth $8.5 million, with $6 million guaranteed, with the Arizona Cardinals on March 17, 2021.[132][133]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Tgt Rec Yards Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2011 CIN 15 15 115 65 1,057 16.3 58 7 5 53 10.6 22 0 1 0
2012 CIN 16 16 164 97 1,350 13.9 73 11 4 38 9.5 20 0 2 1
2013 CIN 16 16 178 98 1,426 14.6 82 11 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0
2014 CIN 13 13 117 69 1,041 15.1 82 6 2 2 1.0 5 0 3 2
2015 CIN 16 16 132 86 1,297 15.1 80 10 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 1
2016 CIN 10 10 100 66 964 14.6 54 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2017 CIN 16 16 143 75 1,078 14.8 77T 8 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 2
2018 CIN 9 9 77 46 694 15.1 38T 6 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 1
2019 CIN 0 0 Did not play due to injury
2020 CIN 16 16 104 47 523 11.1 33 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Career 127 127 1,130 649 9,430 14.5 82 65 11 93 8.5 22 0 12 7

Postseason

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Tgt Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2011 CIN 1 1 12 5 47 9.4 21 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2012 CIN 1 1 11 5 80 16.0 45 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2013 CIN 1 1 9 3 34 11.3 14 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2015 CIN 1 1 8 5 71 14.2 25 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Career 4 4 40 18 232 12.9 45 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

Personal life

On March 21, 2015, he married actress and singer Miranda Brooke, his college sweetheart.[134] They have two sons together.[135][136]

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