4. Cris Collinsworth
Bengals WR from 1981-1988
Cris Collinsworth exemplified grit and toughness as a wideout for the Bengals and that is exactly what has made him one of the best in the franchise’s history. Collinsworth made the Pro Bowl three times but ranked inside the top five in four different categories at the receiver position. He ranks inside the top five for total receiving yards, average yards per reception, most 100-yard games, and receiving yards.
He was the leading wide receiver for both of the Bengals’ Super Bowl appearances in the 80s. Collinsworth hasn’t just made a legacy off of his playing career but he also has become an extremely successful color commentator for NBC.
Collinsworth was just a different wide receiver. He wasn’t the ordinary athletic and skilled wideout that we usually see. He was tall, lengthy, and skinny but a playmaker with an extremely high IQ. He knew his spots and found ways to put himself in a position to be successful and benefit the quarterback throwing the ball to him.
3. James Brooks
Bengals RB from 1984-1991
Up to this point, it is hard to debate that James Brooks isn’t the best running back in the Cincinnati Bengals franchise history. Brooks was an incredible back and could do it all. He holds team records in multiple categories, including total yards from scrimmage, total touchdowns, and total games played. Brooks wall an all-around back and just simply got the job done.
He ranks 10th in total points scored in franchise history. For a guy to rank top ten in that category while only playing from 1984 to 1991 is astonishing and speaks volumes about how productive he was.
"In a 1986 win over New England he hit both with 163 yards rushing and 101 receiving. His 4.73 career yards per rush is the third best since the merger for a running back with as many carries (1,685). Only Hall-of-Famers Barry Sanders (4.99) and O.J. Simpson (4.74) are better. In the next to last game of the 1990 season, his career-high 201 yards came on just 20 carries in a win over the Oilers that basically gave them the AFC Central title when they beat the Browns the next week."
James Brooks was simply one of the most talented and skilled players the Cincinnati Bengals have had, and that is enough to give him a top-three spot in the ring of honor nominee rankings.