For the first time in his career, Green won’t be the No. 1 receiver, of which he found appealing. DeAndre Hopkins will get the lion’s share of attention from opposing defenses in 2021, and Green sees a serious benefit from that setup.
“I think that’s going to take a lot off me,” Green said. “What he’s done in this league forever, the caliber of player he is, for me to be on the other side of that, I’m going to get a lot of one-on-ones, and I’m very excited about that. Ten years playing in an offense where you were the focal point to take away every week. Coming to this offense where you have all these other guys, all these playmakers on the field with you, it’ll make my job a lot easier.”
Green is excited about quarterback Kyler Murray’s mobility, but also believes in his arm talent. Green’s longtime coach in Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis, is now a special advisor at Arizona State, which has given him an up-close view of Murray, and his message to Green was favorable.
“He told me one thing about Kyler,” Green said. “He said, ‘He can sling it, A.J. You’ll be very happy.'”
Green, Hopkins and Christian Kirk figure to be a major part of the aerial attack in 2021. The question on everyone’s minds: Will Larry Fitzgerald also be a part of that, or will he retire?
Green and Fitzgerald are close, but they didn’t chat previous to Green signing with the Cardinals.
“I never even asked him about the situation or told him about this,” Green said. “I just want to keep the business side out of it with Larry. He loves this place. Larry is Arizona. I knew once I signed I would talk to him. He wants the best for me. He’s like a big brother to me. Whatever happens, I’m going to have Larry in my corner no matter what.”
Green was arguably the best receiver in the NFL at his peak, so praise is nothing new to him. However, the 32-year-old said he felt like he was back on an official college recruiting visit because the Cardinals pursued him so aggressively in free agency.
Green appreciated that love, and he is hopeful the partnership can produce Brady-like results in 2021.
“In my search of my next team, it was always about winning,” Green said. “Playing for a winning team and being in meaningful games in January and February. That’s the main goal — winning a championship.”