Cardinals brought back A.J. Green because of familiarity, team culture

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After a disappointing second half of the season from pretty much everyone on the Arizona Cardinals, many fans wonder why the team brought back so many of the players who were part of the collapse.

Receiver A.J. Green is one of those players they re-signed.

His return is part of a design, according to the team’s director of player personnel, Dru Grigson, who was a guest on the Big Red Rage this month, the team’s weekly radio show.

“I think the way that we put the team back together, I like,” he said. “We have an 11-win team and we keep re-signing the guys that helped us get 11 wins and the guys that are part of the culture that helped change the culture from when we were a three-win team and had the first pick in the draft and keep those guys around.”

Green, who has been in the league since 2011, is one of those guys. He knows how to prepare himself and he is not a distraction in the locker room.

“A.J.’s been around the block,” Grigson said. “He is a commumate pro. He’s a position of need, especially being an outside guy, being an ‘X,’ a guy we that want to bring back because of that. And he knows what we’re all about.

“He knows what it’s like working with Shawn Jefferson now, so (we’re) excited to have him back. Great pro and we know exactly what we’re getting with A.J.”

Even with a decline in play the second half that matched the games missed by DeAndre Hopkins, he had his most productive season since 2017, catching 54 passes for 848 yards and three touchdowns.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury lamented late in the season not utilizing him more. Kingsbury believes Green can be even better in 2022, as he will have worked another year in the system and with quarterback Kyler Murray.

While many fans focus on the failings at the end of the season, this roster did win 11 games. The team believes that this core of players can bring these same results and even more with some tweaking and with some health.

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