The Bengals today announced that QB Boomer Esiason (1984-92, '97) and WR Chad Johnson (2001-10) will be added to the team's Ring of Honor in 2023. They will join Ken Anderson, Willie Anderson, Paul Brown, Isaac Curtis, Anthony Muñoz and Ken Riley in the Bengals Ring of Honor.
"Boomer and Chad were both exceptional players," said Bengals President Mike Brown. "If you look at the statistics, Boomer has a long list of quarterback firsts here. And Chad was a superb athlete who was probably the quickest receiver we have had here. They could have moments when they just carried the team by themselves. Both players are very deserving of this honor."
Esiason is regarded as one of the greatest locker-room leaders in Bengals history. In 1986, he earned his first of three Pro Bowl bids with the Bengals while leading the NFL's most productive offense. In 1988, he led the NFL with a 97.4 passer rating and helped the Bengals win the AFC Championship. That year, Esiason was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player by the Pro Football Writers of America and the Associated Press. Esiason ranks third in Bengals history with 27,149 passing yards and 187 touchdowns.
"I will always remember I got this because of the season ticket holders," said Esiason. "They're the ones who have the memories. They're the ones who spend the money to support the team. They're the ones who know who their favorite players are and who had the biggest impact when they were there. That's not to be taken lightly or ever taken for granted."
One of the most popular players in NFL history, Johnson's fun-loving charisma intersected perfectly with the rise of social media and transformed a quotable star athlete into a Twitter pioneer. Between his elaborate choreographed touchdown celebrations and bombastic boasts, he was one of the most electrifying players of his era. During his 10 seasons in Cincinnati, Johnson became the franchise's all-time leading receiver with 10,783 yards, the third most in the NFL during that stretch.
"It means everything," said Johnson. "To be shown appreciation for all the years of hard work is awesome. It's a great honor and I'm very appreciative. I'm getting my flowers now while I can smell them. To me, this honor means much more than getting a gold jacket, honestly. This is home. The fans understand the good times and the bad times, the ups and downs, and they accepted me as my true authentic self. This is a welcome home – you will always be a part of us – and this means a lot to me. A lot."
Season Ticket Members selected Esiason and Johnson from a ballot that featured 13 individuals who have played a significant role in the franchise's history and tradition. For more information on the nominees, visit www.bengals.com/team/ring-of-honor/nominees.
The Ring of Honor induction ceremony will take place during halftime of the Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 25. Fans may purchase tickets for all home games at bengals.com/tickets or by calling Bengals Fan Relations at (513) 621-8383.