Cincinnati Bengals: Chad Johnson Top 5 All-Time nod makes sense

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

Will former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver find his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? That may be a while, but his being ranked in the Top 5 of All Time for the organization is something to talk about.

Any list of any kind in the NFL is sure to spark debate. If you’re a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, seeing Chad Johnson in the Top 5 of all-time in team history is both notable, and very logical.

Johnson, or “OchoCinco” as he is affectionately remembered, is a player that makes you initially scratch your head. But to look at the list, and think of some good and not so good Bengals teams he played on, it makes sense.

From 2001 to 2011, Johnson was equal parts prima-donna, showman, and solid NFL pass catcher. He would total 11,059 receiving yards and six Pro Bowl selections. He was also a two-time First-Team All-Pro selection, and finish as the 14th all-time in yards per catch (14.2).

All well-deserved accolades for a player who would complete his career with the New England Patriots and not in a Bengals uniform.

As good as he was, arguably the best wide receiver in Bengals history, he did bring a lot of baggage to Cincinnati year in and year out. Often labeled selfish, his production on the field was undeniable. His influence as a top receiver in the NFL and within the organization itself is undeniable. So much so, that first-year head coach made it a point to reach out to Johnson upon his arrival to Cincinnati.

“I want to meet Zac Taylor & greet him with a hug & whisper ‘I’m still open’ in his ear to break the ice in our friendship.”

The next big question is whether Johnson finds his way to Canton, OH and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s a debate worth having if not premature. To make an argument that he belongs there is what any smart and reasonable Bengals fan would make.

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While the Cincinnati Bengals are light in representation in the HOF, Johnson is a player who should get consideration somewhere down the road for induction. For now, finding himself in the Top 5 of All-Time players for the organization is a pretty good deal.