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Ex-Bengals WR Chad Johnson a long shot to make Hall of Fame

CINCINNATI -- Former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson wasn't happy when his one-time teammate and good friend Terrell Owens failed to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second straight year.

Owens ranks second-all time in receiving yards but bounced from team to team in the latter part of his career due to locker-room issues. Johnson told TMZ this week that he felt Owens exclusion was political.

Owens could make the Hall of Fame eventually, but Johnson's chances seem unlikely.

Johnson played in the NFL for 11 seasons, 10 with the Bengals and one with the Patriots. He caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns. Johnson made six Pro Bowls, earned four First-Team All-Pro awards and led the NFL in receiving yards in 2006.

Johnson finished his career leading the Bengals in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Johnson has said repeatedly over the years that he feels that he has earned his way into the Hall of Fame, even once donning a gold jacket during a game that said "Future H.O.F. 20??" He has also criticized the voting process for including criteria other than statistics, particularly in the case of Owens.

Statistically, Johnson's numbers would make him a long shot for the Hall of Fame.

At the time of his retirement, Johnson ranked 26th in receptions and yards, and 31st in receiving touchdowns. Every other receiver of his era was no lower than 10 in any of those categories, with the exception of Michael Irvin, who retired in 1999.

If the receivers of the 2000s were ranked, Johnson probably wouldn't be top-five in a list that includes Marvin Harrison, Owens, Torry Holt, Hines Ward and Steve Smith, all of whom finished with better numbers.

But it's also possible to argue that Johnson ranked among the best during his prime. He led the AFC in receiving yards from 2003-06, joining Jerry Rice as the only receiver to lead his conference in receiving yards for four consecutive seasons.

He also played in and year out against some of the best defenses in the league. Johnson faced the Steelers and the Ravens twice a year for almost his entire career. With the exception of the 2002 season, both teams were ranked top 10 in total defense from 2001-10. Twice, they were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the same season.

However, Johnson struggled once he left the Bengals system, catching only 15 passes for 276 yards and one touchdowns with the Patriots in 2011, the final season of his career.

Johnson became eligible for the Hall of Fame for first time in 2016 but did not make the list of semi-finalists. His path over the next few years doesn't look easy.

Not only will he be eligible alongside Owens, but also up for consideration in the next decade is Moss, Donald Driver (2018), Smith and Calvin Johnson, in addition to the already-eligible Isaac Bruce and Ward.

Johnson might have been one of the most entertaining receivers to ever play the game, but as a Hall of Fame candidate, he probably doesn't make the cut.