Ranking the Bengals Ring of Honor nominees based on legacy
2. Chad Johnson
Bengals WR from 2001-2010
Chad Ochocinco, Chad Johnson. This man is a Cincinnati legend on the field and in the community. He is extremely helpful to the players on the roster today and keeps his face around the locker room as a positive influence on the culture of Bengals football.
Johnson was a six-time Pro Bowler and one of the most skilled wide receivers in NFL History. Nobody had footwork like Ochocinco off the line of scrimmage. His route running was elite.
He is the all-time Bengals leader in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions. He is second in total touchdowns by any position and behind former Full Back Pete Johnson. He is also second in 100-yard games. Bengals.com did a great job breaking down and explaining the essence of who Chad Johnson was as a player for the Cincinnati Bengals.
"He was one of the most electrifying players of his era. He thrilled Paul Brown Stadium with a lightning release that made him untouchable off the line of scrimmage and gave rise to enough sprawling catches off deep balls and acrobatic receptions under zones for four straight conference receiving yardage titles, the only AFC receiver to do it in this century."
1. Boomer Esiason
Bengals QB from 1984-1992 and in 1997
It’s tough to say anyone is better overall than Boomer Esiason when you talk about legacy. One can debate a few other players like Johnson, but nonetheless, the best teams in franchise history were when Esiason was behind center and making plays.
In 1988, Esiason won the MVP award and led the Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and is third in all-time touchdown passes and passing yards. He leads the Bengals in most passing yards in a single game (490) and career average yards per passing attempt.
If Esiason didn’t end up leaving the Bengals, the sky was the limit for how successful and statistically sound he could have been. He was more than just a player; he was remembered as one of the best leaders in football as a QB. He truly brought the locker room closer together, leading to many successful seasons.
As mentioned, this is a very close debate to be had, and every one of these players has earned the right to be here and be nominated.