Bengals All-Time Lists

Cincinnati Bengals: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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CB/PR. (1970-77). Lemar Parrish. 8. player. 56.

  • 6x Pro Bowl w/Bengals (1970-71, 1974-77)
  • 1x First-Team All-Pro w/Bengals (1976)
  • 2x Second-Team All-Pro w/Bengals (1974-75)
  • Cincinnati Bengals 40th Anniversary Team
  • 25 career interceptions in 105 games with Bengals

We are now getting into the territory where Pro Football Hall of Fame snubs are becoming increasingly more common. The first guy who honestly has a claim for a Canton bust that does not is former Bengals cornerback/punt returner Lemar Parrish.

Parrish was drafted by the Bengals in the seventh round of out Lincoln University of Missouri in 1970. He spent his first eight professional seasons in Cincinnati. He quickly became one of the greatest defensive backs to have ever played in the Queen City.

Parrish went to six Pro Bowls during his time with the Bengals, including as a rookie in 1970. He made it back-to-back Pro Bowls right out of the gate in 1970 and 1971. While he was absent in the annual glorified exhibition in 1972 and 1973, Parrish would get back on the AFC squad as he entered his prime in 1974.

He ended up on three straight All-Pro teams with the Bengals from 1974 to 1976. While he made the second team in both 1974 and 1975, Parrish’s best season with the Bengals came in 1976 when he was named First Team All-Pro. However, Parrish still had a few years of great ball left in the tank post-Cincinnati.

Parrish played five more years after leaving the Bengals in 1977, including 1978 to 1981 with the Washington Redskins. He made two more trips to the Pro Bowl with Washington, including his second All-Pro first team nod and his third All-Pro second team honor. Parrish played with the 1982 Buffalo Bills before retiring at the age of 35.

Overall, Parrish’s eight Pro Bowls, five All-Pro selections and 47 career interceptions should be enough to have earned him a Canton bust. Yet here we are. Parrish will be best remembered for his time with the Bengals. He had 25 career interceptions in 105 games with Cincinnati. Parrish may have to wait on Canton, but he is a Bengals legend to say the very least.

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