I was surprised when Arizona signed A.J. Green to a $6 million contract. To me, he looks like he’s done: a 32-year-old who can’t do it anymore. But at least one stat suggests things might not be as dire for Green as I have been thinking.
When I look at Green, I am most troubled by his lack of effectiveness last year. Cincinnati had two other receivers (Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd) who were good at times, reducing the effectiveness of the argument that Green way undermined by playing for a lesser team.
He caught only 47 of 104 passes for 523 yards. That works out to 5.0 yards per pass attempt – the 2nd-lowest figure by a wide receiver with at least 100 targets in the last 10 years.
But here’s where it gets just a little interesting.
Take the 20 worst other receivers (in this metric) who were kind of like Green – the guys who over the last 10 years have had at least 100 targets and averaged under 6.4 yards per target. All guys who (like Green) really struggled. Then look at how those guys did the next year.
Seven of those 20 – 35 percent – finished with top-20 PPR numbers. (They’re tagged with two black dots). Two others at least ranked in the top 30 (one dot for them).
I’m still of the opinion that Green isn’t a good player anymore, and that you shouldn’t be selecting him this summer. But that conclusion can’t be based solely on his production issues last year.
|RECEIVERS WITH LOW YARDS-PER-TARGET RATES (last 10 years)|
|2016||Tavon Austin, LAR||106||58||509||4.80||3|
|2020||A.J. Green, Cin.||104||47||523||5.03||2|
|2014||Cecil Shorts, Jac.||110||53||557||5.06||1|
|2012||•• Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz.||156||71||798||5.12||4|
|2016||Jeremy Kerley, S.F.||115||64||667||5.80||3|
|2016||•• Allen Robinson, Jac.||151||73||883||5.85||6|
|2013||Stevie Johnson, Buff.||101||52||597||5.91||3|
|2014||• James Jones, Oak.||112||73||666||5.95||6|
|2011||Greg Little, Cle.||119||61||709||5.96||2|
|2019||• Curtis Samuel, Car.||105||54||627||5.97||6|
|2012||•• Kendall Wright, Ten.||104||64||626||6.02||4|
|2018||Michael Crabtree, Balt.||100||54||607||6.07||3|
|2017||Michael Crabtree, Oak.||101||58||618||6.12||8|
|2017||•• Jarvis Landry, Mia.||161||112||987||6.13||9|
|2016||Brandon Marshall, NYJ||128||59||788||6.16||3|
|2011||•• Mike Williams, T.B.||124||65||771||6.22||3|
|2012||Donnie Avery, Ind.||124||60||781||6.30||3|
|2015||•• Michael Crabtree, Oak.||146||85||922||6.32||9|
|2013||Cecil Shorts, Jac.||123||66||777||6.32||3|
|2016||•• DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.||151||78||954||6.32||4|
|2017||Dez Bryant, Dall.||132||69||838||6.35||6|