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A.J. Green says farewell to Cincinnati, defends Mike Brown

The A.J. Green era in Cincinnati is over, and the Bengals’ all-time second-leading receiver is grateful for his time in the Queen City.

NFL: JAN 03 Ravens at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A.J. Green’s time with the Bengals is now officially over. The 32-year old receiver signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals this week.

In the 10 years since being taken with the fourth-overall pick in 2011, Green finished his Bengals career second in franchise history in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Green was not only one of the best receivers to play for the Bengals, but one of the best players in any position.

“Cincinnati will always be my first love,” said Green, via “That city embraced me. My kids were both born when I was there. That’s all we know. Like any business, everything comes to an end at some point. I’m very grateful to the Brown family. They took a risk on the kid at a young age and changed my life forever.”

Despite the way things ended, Green still had nothing but nice things to say about the Bengals’ organization and team president Mike Brown.

“I love Mr. Brown. He’s the most misunderstood man ever. Unbelievable. Unbelievable dude,” Green said. “I don’t think he wanted to talk about me leaving.

“Because, I was very special to his heart and what I meant to the city. But I think he understood.”

Green ended his Bengals tenure with a slow fade into free agency. At times, watching Green was frustrating, since the product on the field just didn’t match what Green normally displayed.

Still, it’s hard seeing Green go like this. Most fans still wish nothing but the best for Green in Arizona.

Like the professional he is, Green is leaving the Bengals’ receiving corps in good hands.

“I think TB and Tee are going to be good,” Green said. “I have full confidence in Tee that he’s going to keep getting better and keep working and be the leader.”