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The short answer is no, AJ Green does not belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But he might be closer than you realize.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Green out of Georgia with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Green spent 10 years in Cincinnati and played nine seasons (missed 2019 season due to injury). Then, he went to Arizona for two seasons.
Following a 236-yard receiving season in 2022, Green decided to hang up the cleats.
But he put up some impressive numbers as a member of the Bengals. Green amassed 1,000+ receiving yards in six of his first seven seasons in the NFL, though he never reached 100 catches.
He had double-digit touchdowns in three different seasons, 70 scores in his career. Green surpassed the 10,000-yard receiving mark in 2021, finishing with 10,514 career receiving yards.
He ranks 44th in career receiving yards, just behind Keyshawn Johnson (10,571 yards). Green is tied for 49th in career receiving touchdowns with Gary Collins and Andre Johnson. He’s 51st in career catches (727), just four behind Calvin Johnson who is in the Hall of Fame.
Green has more career receiving yards than several current Hall of Famers, including Lance Alworth, Shannon Sharpe, Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff among others.
Of course, those players played in an era with much less restrictive defensive rules.
Green’s career is actually quite similar to Keyshawn Johnson, who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Johnson played nine more games than Green, had 87 more catches and 57 more yards. Green scored six more touchdowns.
Johnson won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in 2003, while Green never won a playoff game.
Neither player is likely to ever grace the Hall of Fame, and that’s the way it should be.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ