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Bengals to induct Boomer Esiason, Chad Johnson into Ring of Honor during Week 3 game vs. Rams

Two of the most recognizable players in Cincinnati Bengals history will be added to the club's Ring of Honor in 2023.

The team announced on Thursday that quarterback Boomer Esiason and receiver Chad Johnson will be inducted into the Ring of Honor during halftime of the Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 25.

"Boomer and Chad were both exceptional players," Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement. "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."

A second-round pick in 1984, Esiason led a prolific Bengals offense for a decade in Cincinnati. The signal-caller was named NFL MVP in 1988 and helped the Bengals win the AFC championship that season -- the club's last Super Bowl trip until 2021. Esiason earned three Pro Bowl nods during his run, ranking third in team history with 27,149 passing yards and 187 passing touchdowns.

"I will always remember I got this because of the season ticket holders," Esiason said. "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."

Johnson became one of the most popular and well-quoted players over his 10 years with the Bengals from 2001-2010, during which he changed his name to Chad Ochocinco to represent the No. 85 he wore. The wideout was named a first-team All-Pro twice and made six Pro Bowl teams. Johnson's 10,783 receiving yards and 66 touchdowns rank first all-time in club history.

"It means everything," Johnson said. "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."

Esiason and Johnson will join Ken Anderson, Willie Anderson, Paul Brown, Isaac Curtis, Anthony Muñoz and Ken Riley in the Bengals Ring of Honor.

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