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A.J. Green is one of the greatest players to ever don a Cincinnati Bengals uniform, so it made plenty of sense that the Arizona Cardinals receiver was pulling for his former team to win the Super Bowl last year. Green returned to Cincinnati last weekend for the first time since leaving the Bengals after the 2020 season, believing the young Bengals aren't just one-year wonders. 

"They've got a great team. It's crazy because we had great teams, but they've got a real good team," Green said. "I was cheering for them, and I talked to TB (Tyler Boyd), I talked to Jessie (Bates III), talked to Tee (Higgins), Joe (Burrow) as they went on that playoff run, and they got hot. 

"They're going to get back there. They've got a great team that'll be competitive each year."

How far will Cincinnati go this season?

Burrow was the catalyst behind the Bengals' success, establishing himself as one of the game's best quarterbacks. He completed a league-high 70.4% of his passes for 4,611 yards with 34 touchdowns to 14 interceptions for a 108.4 passer rating. Burrow also led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.9) despite being sacked a league-high 51 times in the regular season. The Bengals also had a 1,000-yard rusher in Joe Mixon, a record-setting rookie receiver in Ja'Marr Chase and a 1,000-yard receiver in Tee Higgins. Tyler Boyd also had over 800 yards last season, emerging as one of the leaders of the young offense. 

"He's a leader now -- a leader in that room," Green said of Boyd. "I knew he would be from day one, once he got his opportunity that he was going to be a great player. That's great for him. He's an unbelievable receiver, and he's got those guys rolling. I'm happy for him.

"They've got a great team. They've got a young, great core that's going to be good for a long time. ... It's fun just to see those guys. We text on and off during the season, so it was good to see them in person."

Green is second in Bengals franchise history in receptions (649), receiving yards (9,430) and receiving touchdowns (65) -- trailing only Chad Johnson in each category. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven years and recorded six 1,000-yard seasons in his 10 seasons with the team. 

In Green's one season with the Cardinals, he finished with 54 catches for 848 yards with three touchdowns and averaged 15.7 yards per catch. The Cardinals brought the 34-year-old Green back on a one-year deal this offseason.

"I couldn't choose a better place to be with this organization," Green said. "Kliff (Kingsbury) is unbelievable, an unbelievable coach the way he runs that organization. It's a blessing to go from there (Cincinnati) to Arizona to keep playing, keep prolonging my career, and I feel like I can still play for a while.

"My numbers were never a big thing for me. My personal goal is just to win. I had a pretty good season last year, and now this year going into year two in this offense, I'm more comfortable, and I think I'll be much better."