Patriots Offseason

Corey Dillon goes on epic rant about Bengals' Ring of Honor, Hall of Fame

Dillon is livid, to say the least, that his NFL career isn't getting the recognition he thinks it deserves.

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Corey Dillon has something to say, and he's not shy about how he's conveying the message.

The former NFL running back, who played 10 seasons between the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots, feels that his career and accomplishments aren't getting enough respect.

Dillon spent the first seven years of his career with the Bengals from 1997 through 2003. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in the first six of those seasons. His 8,061 career rushing yards in Cincinnati are the most in team history -- 1,615 more than James Brooks in second place. Dillon's 45 rushing touchdowns are the third-most in team history. He was one of the only reasons to watch the Bengals in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Dillon didn't exactly leave the Bengals on the best of terms. And he was honest (perhaps too honest) at times about how he felt during his Cincinnati career. He eventually left in 2004 to join the New England Patriots (more on this later).

Dillon still hasn't been enshrined in the Bengals' Ring of Honor. Bengals season ticket holders vote on which players get in. Saying that Dillon is upset about this fact would be an understatement.

"It’s damn-near criminal, what (Bengals Ring of Honor voters) are pulling off, to be honest with you," Dillon recently told The Athletic's Paul Dehner Jr. "Did I not play for them? I don’t know, bro. I’m curious about that. Because it looks like they are glossing over me. For what reason? Because I left? That’s not a good enough reason. You are telling me there’s five other guys better than me -- at my position?

"And trust me, this is no knock on whoever is getting in, who goes in, that’s not what it is about. It’s about what is your excuse going to be? I’m pretty sure they will put f—ing Jon Kitna in there before they put me. Matter of fact, Scott Mitchell will end up in that motherf—er before I do."

Dillon was one of the most important players for the 2004 Patriots. He ran for a team record 1,635 yards, along with 12 touchdowns in 15 games. Dillon, who never appeared in a postseason game for the Bengals, also ran for 292 yards (4.5 per carry) and two touchdowns in three playoff games for New England that season. One of those touchdowns came in the Patriots' 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. The 2003-04 Patriots remain the most recent team to repeat as Super Bowl champs.

Dillon was far less effective for the Patriots over the next two seasons, and he retired after the 2006 campaign. But he still wants a spot in the Patriots' Hall of Fame, too.

"And don’t make this a Cincinnati thing, because I’m about to get on the Pats’ ass, too. It’s coming," Dillon told Dehner. "I’m coming for it all. Give it to me while I’m breathing. If anybody wants to disagree, just go look at the f—ing numbers and have a Coke and smile."

There are 28 former players currently in the Patriots Hall of Fame. Dillon was amazing in 2004, but one amazing season probably isn't enough for enshrinement. And the Patriots have a ton of players from the dynasty years who need to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in the coming decade, and only one player gets in per year. Even if the fans deemed Dillon worthy, it could take a very long time for him to get in.

But as for the Bengals' Ring of Honor and a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dillon is worthy of both. Whether he receives either honor anytime soon remains to be seen, though.

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