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A.J. Green happy with role as DeAndre Hopkins’ sidekick

Mike Florio and Chris Simms draft the teams they think are most likely to make it back to the NFL playoffs this season.

For the first time in his career, A.J. Green is a No. 2 receiver. He spent 10 seasons in Cincinnati as the No. 1 wideout, but signed with the Cardinals knowing that was DeAndre Hopkins’ role.

“I’m always team-first,” Green said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “When I was the guy in Cincinnati for 10 years, I always wanted another guy. I had Tyler Boyd, and we had Marv Jones. We had some great guys. My thing is, I don’t want to be forced the ball and here, I don’t have to be forced the ball.

“You’ve got Hop on one side, you’ve got me on the other and you’ve got (Christian) Kirk working the middle. It creates a lot of matchups, and that’s why I picked this place.”

Green, 33, has not had 1,000 yards receiving since 2017, which was the last of his seven Pro Bowls. He played only 25 games the past three seasons, missing 23 with injuries, and totaled 93 catches for 1,217 yards and eight touchdowns over that time.

But Green has a chance for a career renaissance with defenses focused on stopping Hopkins.

“He definitely was excited about that,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He’s always drawn the doubles and the coverage over the top and the best corner. He’s looked great, and he’s excited for this opportunity.”