A.J. Green returning to Cardinals on one-year deal

A.J. Green is sticking around for another season in the desert.

The 33-year-old receiver has agreed to a one-year deal to remain with the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced.

Green's signing makes plenty of sense for both parties. Arizona needed to retain a reliable receiver following the free-agency departure of Christian Kirk, and Green was already familiar with Arizona's offense after last season.

Green experienced a bit of a bounce-back performance in his first season with Arizona, catching 54 passes for 848 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games (nine starts). The seven-time Pro Bowler joined the Cardinals as a running mate for DeAndre Hopkins in 2021, but when the latter missed a good portion of the season due to hamstring and knee injuries, Green's importance to the Cardinals increased. He responded accordingly with his best season of production since 2017.

Green will be back to join Hopkins once again in Arizona's receiving corps, which could still add a rookie via the draft to a corps that also includes Rondale Moore and Antoine Wesley. They may have a bit of uncertainty regarding who will be throwing them passes, though. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Kyler Murray is not expected to play for the Cardinals in 2022 unless he receives a new contract, per sources informed of the situation.

The Thursday news is the latest stop in what has been a drama-filled offseason for Murray and the Cardinals, and makes them a less attractive destination without quarterback solidified. Murray was able to power the Cardinals into the postseason in 2021 after falling short in 2020, but their Super Wild Card Weekend drubbing at the hands of the eventual Super Bowl LVI champion Los Angeles Rams didn't make the end of their season any easier to accept. His reported displeasure with the Cardinals and his contract have complicated matters, at least for now.

Luckily for Arizona, Green has already agreed to the deal. As long as he puts pen to paper, they'll have their top two receivers secured entering 2022, and can shift their attention to appeasing Murray while also looking for more options in the draft later this month.

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