A.J. Green announces retirement; played for Cards, Bengals

ByESPN.com news services via logo
February 6, 2023, 2:39 PM

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green announced his retirement Monday.

"I've never been a man of many words, so I'll keep this short," Green began his Instagram post.

"Thank you. Thank you to all who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me throughout my career. Special thank you to the University of Georgia, Cincinnati Bengals, and Arizona Cardinals for the opportunity to pursue my dreams. I've stayed true to the game and it owes me nothing. Be blessed.. Love y'all! The next chapter begins..."

Green, 34, played 11 seasons in the NFL after being picked by the Bengals with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

The receiver played his first nine seasons for the Bengals and began his career with five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Green had only two seasons with more than 900 receiving yards after that stretch.

Green finished his time in Cincinnati as one of the most prolific receivers in franchise history.

He was second in the team's all-time rankings in receptions (649), receiving yards (9,430) and touchdowns (65). He also had the most 100-yard receiving games in franchise history (33). His last season on the team came in 2020, when he spent the year on the franchise tag.

He signed back-to-back one-year contracts with the Cardinals before announcing his retirement. Since he entered the league in 2011, he is one of only five wide receivers to amass more than 10,000 receiving yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers Julio Jones and Mike Evans, Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown are the others players in that group.

In a December interview with ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, Green addressed the prospect of retirement, telling Weinfuss, "Whatever happens is going to happen. I made the money. I have the accolades, I'm stress free. Whatever happens next year, I'm at peace with it. If I want to play, then I will have an opportunity, but if I don't want to play, I can walk around with my head held high."

During that same conversation, Green said, "I always told people ... physically, I can play this game for a while, but mentally I don't know if I can go through it again. You know what I mean? And I'm a guy that never wanted to cheat the game, so if I'm not all-in, I'm going to be all out."

A two-time All-Pro, Green was selected to seven Pro Bowls and finished with 10,514 yards and 70 career touchdowns.

Information from ESPN's Ben Baby was used in this report.

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