The Cincinnati Bengals will be adding two more names to their very early Ring of Honor this season. In a process that is voted on by season-ticket holders, wide receiver Chad Johnson and quarterback Boomer Esiason were selected to join the six already established members, the team announced Thursday.
Both of these players defined an era of this team. Prior to Joe Burrow, Esiason was the last quarterback to lead Cincinnati to a Super Bowl appearance. He now joins the only other quarterback to do that — Ken Riley — in the Ring of Honor. Esiason is still third in franchise history with just over 27,000 passing yards and 187 touchdowns.
Johnson is probably the reason most fans who watched in the 2000s are around, on top of being one of the best receivers in the league at the time. His celebrations made the Bengals must-watch TV, and in a time before YouTube, Twitter, or TikTok, getting that exposure on SportsCenter meant something.
Chad Johnson and Boomer Esiason are this year’s Ring of Honor inductees!— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) July 20, 2023
On September 25th at halftime vs the Rams, they will be recognized with a special induction ceremony.
Of course, Johnson’s place in the ring goes far beyond his celebrations. He still has the most receptions (751), receiving yards (10,783), and receiving touchdowns (66) in the franchise’s history.
Johnson spent 10 years in Cincinnati before leaving for a brief stint as a New England Patriot and Miami Dolphin. Esiason also spent a decade as a Bengal. He left in 1993, where he spent three years with the New York Jets and one with the Arizona Cardinals before finishing his career with the Bengals in 1997.
Some of the other nominees included kicker Jim Breech, running back James Brooks, running back Corey Dillon, wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, safety David Fulcher, defensive tackle Tim Krumrie, offensive lineman Dave Lapham, offensive lineman Max Montoya, cornerback Lemar Parrish, tight end Bob Trumpy and linebacker Reggie Williams.