A.J. Green is calling it a career. The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday after 12 years in the league.
"I've never been a man of many words, so I'll keep this short," Green wrote on Instagram. "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, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, quickly became a star receiver with the Bengals. He caught 65 passes for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, then reached at least 1,000 receiving yards in five of the next six seasons as well -- with the only time he fell short being a season during which he missed six games due to injury.
In his Bengals career, he caught 649 passes for 9,430 yards and 65 scores. Each of those figures ranks second in team history behind only Chad Ochocinco. Green spent the final two years of his career with the Cardinals. catching 78 passes for 1,084 yards and five touchdowns -- including a 77-yard score in his final NFL game.
Green's 10,514 receiving yards rank 44th in NFL history, and he is one of just 27 players to record at least 725 receptions, 10,000 receiving yards, and 70 receiving touchdowns in his career. Injuries kept him from reaching even greater heights, but there was a time when he was one of the most unstoppable receiving weapons in the NFL. He was a prototype No. 1 wide receiver who could both move the chains and win down the field, who had great speed and great size, and who consistently produced at a high level year after year.