Why the Chargers should sign A.J. Green
Green is a star. And he has been so for long. While he doesn’t command as much attention as Brady, it would certainly turn people’s heads the Chargers’ way. When moving to a 70,000 capacity stadium, that’s the kind of signing the Chargers need to be in the headlines.
He would sell jerseys and sell tickets. The Chargers have had great players throughout their history, but that hasn’t mattered as national media attention rarely looks the Chargers’ way.
With the Chargers playing in the best stadium in the nation, with a receiving duo of Allen and Green along with a new (and hopefully exciting) quarterback as well as a star-studded defense, the Chargers would certainly become must-watch football.
As far as on the field contribution, Green would bring something to the table that the Chargers wide receiver corps severely lacks: speed. Green is a very fast player and can be a very good deep threat, but one would be foolish to define him as just that.
Green is the type of player that makes his teammates better. One only has to watch the Cincinnati Bengals offense when he is on the field and when he isn’t. If you need more than the eye test to be convinced, the 2018 season provides perfect statistical examples.
Green only played in nine games in 2018, as he suffered a toe injury in Week 8 that year which caused him to miss the next three games. When he returned to the field in Week 13, he aggravated that injury and went on injured reserve.
During Green’s nine games, the Bengals’ offense scored 25.7 points per game. During the seven games he missed, Cincinnati only scored 20.7 points per game. That is almost a touchdown per game contributed by Green’s presence.
While it’s obvious to expect a regression in points per game when you take a team’s offensive star, five points is a big drop off for a non-quarterback.
The Bengals were also 5-3 in the first eight games of the season with Green on the field. After Green’s injury, the Bengals went 1-7.
Let’s look at his receiving partner’s production. Tyler Boyd was primed for a breakout season in year three after battling injuries in year two. He managed his first 1,000-yard season in only 14 games, along with seven receiving touchdowns, but he could have gotten more had he played more games together with Green.
In games where Boyd played alongside Green, Boyd averaged 79.7 receiving yards per game. Without Green on the field, Boyd’s average receiving yards decreased to 62.2. Also, five of Boyd’s seven receiving touchdowns came in games where Green also played.
While Green’s best days are certainly past him, he wouldn’t be asked to be the focal point of the Chargers’ offense. Green could really thrive playing a complementary role that doesn’t demand him being on the field every snap, which would also help with his recent health issues.
Ignoring the price tag, there are many things to like about Green coming to Los Angeles. While he can still be franchise tagged, if he sees the open market, the Chargers should take a look.