Player Name: Anthony Munoz (78)
Position: Left Tackle
Bengals Career: 1980-1992
Drafted: 1980, Round 1, 3rd Pick
Michael Anthony Munoz was selected in the first round of the 1980 draft (3rd overall) by Forrest Gregg and the Cincinnati Bengals after an impressive, but injury plagued college career at USC in which Munoz had 3 surgeries in 4 seasons and played just one full game his senior year.
Because of the knee injuries, the pick was thought to be risky, but after 13 seasons, all in Cincinnati, Munoz is regarded by most as the best offensive lineman to ever step foot on a football field - and you won't find any argument in Cincinnati. Munoz is as beloved in the Queen City off the field as he was on it.
Munoz was the anchor to both offensive lines that led the Bengals to their only two Super Bowl appearances in franchise history. Munoz is the only Bengals player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Arguments For Induction
- Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1998)
- 11 straight Pro Bowls (1982-1992)
- All-Pro 11 straight years (1981-1991)
- 10 straight All-AFC Team selections (1981-1990)
- 3-Time NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year (1981, 1987, 1988)
- NFL Players Association Lineman of the Year (181, 1985, 1988, 1989)
- All-NFL Team of the 1980's
- All-Time NFL Team (chosen in 2000 by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee)
- Selected to NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team (1994)
- Ranked #12 on the NFL Networks Top 100 Greatest Players list - highest ranked OL
- Bart Starr Man of the Year (1989)
- Walter Payton Man of the Year (1991)
- Started at tackle in Super Bowls XVI, XXIII
- Caught 7 passes and scored 4 Touchdowns
- Tied for 4th in franchise history for seasons of service (13)
- 5th in franchise history in games played (185)
Impact on his Position
- Regarded by most as the best offensive lineman in NFL history.
Impact on the Franchise
- Only player in franchise history elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Anchored an offensive line that was key to the only two Super Bowl appearances (1981, 1988) in franchise history
Impact on the City
- Munoz is an accomplished community icon devoted to charitable work. In 2002 he established the Anthony Munoz Foundation (AMF) "a non-profit organization armed with the mission of engaging the Tri-State region to impact youth mentally, physically and spiritually."
Arguments Against Induction:
With a player like Munoz, I believe my opinion is moot. Aside from Paul Brown, Munoz has to be the most successful and respected person in franchise history. From a player standpoint, I believe he is the best offensive lineman to play the game and the best player the franchise has ever had.