The Cincinnati Bengals have spent the last two seasons honoring former players in their new Ring of Honor.
Since the 2021 season, they have added six members and plan to add two more per season. The inductees are voted on by season ticket holders, leaving it up to those who support the team the most.
Former Bengals running back Corey Dillon is undoubtedly one of the best players in Bengals history but has not been in the conversation for the Ring of Honor to this point. Dillon isn’t all too happy about that, either.
In an interview with The Athletic, Dillon ripped the Ring of Honor process and seems to feel it should be out of the hands of fans. In fact, he called the current process “garbage” and said it should be left to members of the front office.
“This ain’t a popularity contest,” Dillon said. “This is football. You are going to put in somebody who is more popular than somebody who got stats?
“Bengals are smart. I give it to them. We will put it in the hands of the season-ticket holders, so they don’t have to take that backlash over who the voters are picking. That’s bulls---. The s--- should come straight from the team. Half these season-ticket holder people never seen half of us play,” Dillon continued.
Dillon still leads the Bengals in rushing yards (8,061) and attempts (1,865), which could be a strong case for him to be inducted. Three Pro Bowls and a record-breaking performance that made him, at the time, the NFL’s single-game rushing leader with 278 yards are more ammunition for Dillon’s case.
His time in Cincinnati, however, wasn’t always the smoothest. A domestic violence arrest in 2000 and his vocal exit from Cincinnati have soured some fans from promoting him to the Ring of Honor.
Dillon, at one point, said he would “rather flip burgers” than accept a free agent tender from the Bengals. After his last game with the franchise, Dillon threw his helmet, shoulder pads, and other equipment into the stands to signify that his time in The Queen City was over.
The stats back up his claims, but the fact of the matter is that fans are the deciding factor. That is how the Bengals want it, so Dillon will have to wait his turn, if it ever comes.
Agree with the process or not, but the final memory you leave with the fans is hard to escape. Dillon hasn’t exactly done anything over the last 20 years to try to repair the relationship, either, so hopefully that changes in the coming years.
Do you think Corey Dillon should be in the Bengals Ring of Honor? Let us know in the poll below and in the comments section!