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Roundtable: Where does A.J. Green rank among Bengals wide receiver greats?

The Bengals have been very fortunate throughout history when it comes to having a stud wide receiver.

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Greetings Bengals fans!

With the recent retirement of franchise great A.J. Green, we gathered our staff to discuss where he ranks among Cincinnati’s all-time wide receivers.

After all, the Bengals have had plenty of them, including Isaac Curtis, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Carl Pickens, Eddie Brown, and of course, Chad Johnson.

It’s crazy to think arguably the two best to ever do it came back-to-back in the Queen City with Chad Johnson (2001-10) breaking nearly every franchise record, and the guy right behind him in most categories is Green (2011-20).

Let’s discuss it!

Jason Garrison

Even though Green is second on the team in most statistical categories as a receiver, I have to say, as of right now, he’s the top-ranked wide receiver in Bengals history. While I love Chad Johnson, Green’s 9,430 receiving yards and 65 touchdowns came with mediocre quarterback play from Andy Dalton, and he would often just have to go up and get a ball thrown off target while being double-covered.

Anthony Cosenza

Honestly, you can make a compelling argument for Isaac Curtis, Chad Johnson, Green, and maybe even Carl Pickens as the greatest receivers in team history, depending on the angle you want to take.

While he’s behind Chad in some areas, I believe Green had the most innate talent of all Bengals receivers. There were Randy Moss-like moments on the regular, and that stretch of dominance he had from 2011-2017 was incredible. If not for injuries and other factors he’d be a shoo-in for best Cincinnati receiver and the Hall of Fame.

The thing I did like about Green over Chad was that he seemed to step up even bigger in the huge divisional clashes against the Steelers (8) and Ravens (9), whereas Johnson had just three touchdown receptions against Pittsburgh and seven versus Baltimore.

To me, there’s not really a wrong argument for the best receiver in team history, it’s more about differentiating the facets one wants to highlight

John Sheeran

I’ve no issue placing him second behind Chad. They’re two different receivers who created different kinds of highlights but still commanded respect from opposing coordinators. Chad also has the benefit of getting Bill Belichick to say on camera they were going to “double-85” all game long. You can’t match that level of praise. But A.J. was definitely more physically and athletically gifted, and the precision in his route running was closer to Chad than you may remember. The dude was also WAY stronger than you would’ve believed by looking at his lanky frame. Clearly in the top two with a good argument for the No. 1 spot.

Drew Garrison

I have him as the second-best Bengals receiver ever, right behind Chad Johnson. Chad was the constant that helped carry us out of the dark times and A.J. stepped right in to help prevent what was supposed to be a terrible 2011 season. Their impact on the franchise is similar, but their personalities and play styles were very different. I personally feel A.J. never got the respect he deserved on a national level, but his quiet, calm demeanor (most of the time) could have had something to do with that.

John Acree

In terms of production, Green ranks only behind Chad Johnson. But in terms of leadership, Green ranks among the elite few. He was always among the positive voices in the clubhouse and on the field and, with the exception of his run-in with cornerback Jalen Ramsey, rarely, if ever, lost his temper. He took his trade to the Arizona Cardinals with grace and poise, and showed his continuing allegiance to the Bengals at retirement when he said, “That’s my team now.”