For a long time, Chad Johnson single handedly transformed football fans into Bengals fans across the country. After the Bengals' 2005 playoff season, there were thousands upon thousands of football fans wearing his jersey. His end zone dances made the game fun and he seemed like a giant kid playing football with a big smile on his face. It was hard not to love him.
Then he changed. He became Chad Ochocinco. He asked for a trade. He underperformed. He just wasn't the same anymore and the love that fans had for him was replaced by annoyance. Still, he was the franchise's all-time leader in reception yards and receiving touchdowns.
Heading into the 2011 season, it was widely assumed that the Bengals would draft A.J. Green in the first round and that the two would either be Andy Dalton's No. 1 and No. 2 receivers or that they would trade Chad. Even though it shouldn't have been a surprise when the news broke that the Bengals traded Chad, it was still shocking for some reason.
The news that Chad was traded to the Patriots broke in late July. The Bengals got a fifth-round pick in 2012 and a sixth-round pick in 2013 for him and officially handed the No. 1 receiver job to rookie A.J. Green. It was the first big trade the Bengals made before or during the 2011 season.
Andy Dalton got to start his NFL career without a receiver known as a distraction in the huddle and he got to rely on one of the most physically gifted receivers in the league, Green, instead. Both Green and Dalton will be better for it in the end.
While many believed that Ochocinco would revitalize his career in New England with Tom Brady throwing him the ball, he's done the exact opposite. Through 15 games he has only 276 receiving yards and one touchdown and has officially become less of a receiver and more of a punchline, furthering Bengals fans' belief that the team did the right thing.
Many will miss Chad as he's been a huge part of the Bengals franchise but there aren't many who can argue that he's the same receiver that he once was. That's why he's No. 9 on this list.
For a refresher, here's No. 10 on the list.