A.J. Green Retires, Fields Owns Wisconsin, and Other NFL Bullets

Social Navigation

Defensive Coordinator Dominos Falling, A.J. Green Retires, Justin Fields Owns Wisconsin, and Other NFL Bullets


After a few delays on my flight, I finally got home around 11:00 last night, so I’m a bit tired this morning, but we’re going to power through this together. Oh, and guess what? The Super Bowl is just five days away! So as the Super Bowl approaches, the NFL coaching carousel is slowing down. We saw three teams fill defensive coordinator positions in the last few days. Most recently, Brian Flores took over as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator.

  • After spending one season in Pittsburgh as the Steelers’ linebackers coach, Flores is heading to Minnesota to be the DC. Flores was believed to be a finalist for the Cardinals’ head coaching job as recently as Sunday. However, it appears that Flores preferred to spend the season in Minnesota.
  • Flores filed a class-action lawsuit last February against the NFL, the Giants, and several other teams alleging discrimination in their hiring practices. While we don’t know the specifics of Flores’ involvement in the Arizona hiring process beyond a report that he was a finalist, this could be interesting.
  • Flores has a very viable lawsuit against the NFL and its teams. But, if he was a finalist for a head coaching job and withdrew from consideration to take a coordinator position elsewhere, that might be something the NFL uses in their defense. Of course, it’s important to remember that we don’t know exactly what happened in Arizona yet. I thought of this last night when I wondered whether another qualified candidate turned down the Cardinals’ job. For now, it’s just something to think about.
  • Regardless, Flores is heading to Minnesota for 2023 to replace Ed Donatell. You can read more about that here:
  • New Orleans also has a new DC. According to multiple reports, the Saints are expected to hire Joe Woods as defensive coordinator. Woods spent the past three seasons as Cleveland’s defensive coordinator.
  • Woods previously spent one season as a member of Saints coach Dennis Allen’s staff when Allen coached the Raiders in 2014. Allen’s shift to Woods as defensive coordinator signifies that he wanted a staff more to his touch than what Sean Payton left behind.
  • Lastly, Ejiro Evero is set to become the Panthers’ defensive coordinator. Evero was a candidate for the Panthers’ head coach position before Reich was hired. Evero interviewed for all five jobs but didn’t land one despite positive reviews. According to reports, the Broncos let Evero out of his contract to pursue other roles after hiring Sean Payton as coach.
  • In non-coaching news, Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green announced his retirement on Monday on his Instagram:

“I’ve never been a man of many words, so I’ll keep this short. Thank you. Thank you to all who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me throughout my career. Special thank you to the University of Georgia, Cincinnati Bengals, and Arizona Cardinals for the opportunity to pursue my dreams. I’ve stayed true to the game and it owes me nothing. Be blessed.. Love y’all! The next chapter begins…”

  • Green played 11 NFL seasons after being selected with the Bengals’ fourth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The 34-year-old finished his career as the Bengals’ second-leading receiver with 649 catches, 9,430 yards, and 65 touchdowns with the franchise.
  • Green finished his career with 10,514 yards and 70 receiving touchdowns. He spent the past two seasons with the Cardinals, where he caught 78 passes for 1,084 yards and five touchdowns in 31 games. Green was named to the Pro Bowl seven times.
  • His retirement got me thinking about the 2011 NFL Draft class. Fellow 2011 draftee and Arizona Cardinal, J.J. Watt, retired at the end of the season too. Green and Watt were part of a draft class that included Cam Newton, Von Miller, Julio Jones, Patrick Peterson, and more.
  • In a press release this morning, the NFL announced a deal with the streaming service DAZN to provide an international NFL Game Pass. The deal is good for 10 years and will begin in 2023. The international Game Pass will feature every regular season and postseason game.
  • Personal coaches? Sean Payton made it clear that Russell Wilson’s individual staff and entourage will not be in the Broncos building this season.
  • Lids released their 2022-23 season statistics this morning, according to data from in-store net sales across lids locations during the NFL season. Bears QB Justin Fields was the top-selling jersey in Illinois (duh), Wisconsin (take that, GB), and Indiana (Colts stink)!
  • Here’s the best-selling team gear by state:
  • And the best-selling team gear and player jerseys nationwide:
  • Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen could become a cap casualty in Los Angeles. If he does, Luis believes that the Bears should be interested. I agree with Luis, and as he points out here, the “injury-prone” label is overblown:
  • Sadly, probably so:

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.