The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

David Elfin

David Elfin of the Washington Times

Vote: Fighting for Art Monk (10/10)

The Washington Times
August 1, 1989
Monk ends his silence as part of ‘Posse’ pact
David Elfin

Defensive end Charles Mann emerged from the locker room after the first veterans practice of Washington Redskins training camp with his eyes and mouth wide open in disbelief.

“Look. It’s ‘The Posse,’ ” Mann said, laughing and pointing at receivers Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark, who have bestowed that nickname on themselves and were conducting group interviews. “And Art’s talking! Wooo!”

That’s right. Monk, who has mastered the art of silence with print reporters since 1982, is speaking this season, but only with fellow receivers Sanders and Clark at his side.

Apparently, all three will be chatty this season, but only as a trio, in hopes of adding to team unity and to the marketing of whatever “Posse” items they come up with – T-shirts, hats, maybe even a music video.

“We’ve been talking about it since the Super Bowl [in January 1988],” said Clark, who was the only one wearing “Posse” garb yesterday. “We’re out to break everything. Our goal is for two of us to be in the Pro Bowl. We don’t think anybody can cover us. When we’re at our best, we think we can play as well as anybody ever has. We can’t take any hostages. We have to capture what we lost a year ago.”

The Redskins fell from Super Bowl champions to also-rans last season, but not because of Monk, Sanders and Clark, who combined for 204 catches and 24 touchdowns.

Both Sanders and Clark credited Monk for much of their success and now they have gotten their buddy to talk again.

“I’m not much of a talker, you guys know that,” said Monk. “But I can handle this. . . . I’ve never been a very outspoken person. I don’t go out much. And that tends to carry over to the field. I don’t like a lot of attention, a lot of publicity. I just like to stay in the shadows and do my job.”

Few have done it better. Monk needs just 15 catches to become the NFL’s eighth all-time leading receiver but has only made the Pro Bowl twice in nine years. He said he has never minded the lack of notoriety.

“I know my capabilities,” said the 31-year-old Monk, who has 576 catches, including a record 106 in 1984. “I would be crazy to say [moving into the top 10] doesn’t mean anything to me, but I think in terms of team accomplishments.”

The Washington Times
December 6, 1989
Monk & Taylor; Redskins’ receivers linked by history
David Elfin

Charley Taylor has been thinking a lot lately about a scouting trip he made to Syracuse in 1979.

“I was supposed to look at a defensive back and a running back who could be switched to receiver,” said Taylor, then a Washington scout and now the Redskins’ receivers coach. “I was looking at the DB when I heard these hoofbeats behind me. It was a running back returning punts. Then I was introduced to him. It was Art Monk. I watched him all that day and then I talked to him for a while and watched some game films. I came back and said we had to take this guy. There was no doubt we had a steal.”

The Redskins took Monk on the first round of the 1980 draft, and Taylor’s judgment has proved to be very accurate.

Thirteen games into his 10th Redskins season, Monk has 642 catches, leaving him seven short of third place on the NFL’s all-time list. The man currently holding that spot is Taylor.

“I would much rather have Art pass me up than anybody else,” said Taylor, who made the Pro Bowl eight times in his 13 Redskins seasons and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. “He’s such a professional. It’s been a pleasure to work with him the past nine years. Sure, Art had to make the same adjustment that I did from college running back to NFL receiver, but I don’t take any credit because people say Art plays like me and I’ve been his coach.”

Monk, however, gives Taylor plenty of credit.

“If it wasn’t for Charley, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” Monk said. “Charley knows a lot of the little ins and outs of the trade. He’s very helpful in giving me tips on how to do certain things to make myself a better player. It will be a great compliment if I can pass him. Just to be in his company is an honor.”

Taylor shakes off such praise as easily as he used to lose defenders but concedes a resemblance between the Redskins’ No. 42 of the 1960s and 1970s and No. 81 of the 1980s.

“Art looks like me after he catches the ball,” Taylor said. “That’s when he comes alive and says, ‘Keep your hands off me.’ But other than getting him to work on his feet, Art didn’t have to be taught. He was a natural.”

So was Taylor.

“Charley was an athlete. I never played with anybody quite like him,” said Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, who now broadcasts the Redskins’ games. “Charley could do what he wanted. He was a playmaker. I just wanted to get the ball in his hands.”

That was equally true of Jurgensen’s competitor at quarterback, Billy Kilmer. In the club’s biggest game in 27 years, the 1972 NFC Championship against Dallas, it was Taylor whom Kilmer hit for the game’s only touchdowns in a 26-3 triumph.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who played with both, felt the same about Monk.

“Art was always the guy I looked for when we were in trouble,” said Theismann, who threw the 1975 pass that made Taylor the NFL’s all-time leading receiver at the time. He also was the quarterback in 1984, when Monk’s 106 receptions set an NFL single-season record.

Theismann: “Art bailed me out of more jams . . . The year he caught 106 a lot of people forget that in the last game against St. Louis, which we had to win to make the playoffs, Art caught 11 passes [for 136 yards]. And he made the biggest play of the game on fourth-and-20. Art got 21 [and the Redskins won 29-27].”

Monk’s abilities in the clutch were never more evident than two Sundays ago, when he caught nine passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins’ 38-14 victory against the Chicago Bears.

“Art’s being mentioned for the Hall of Fame doesn’t impress me as much as the catches he made [against the Bears], the way he went up to get a couple of those balls in a game we had to have,” said quarterback Doug Williams. “Art is probably in better shape after 10 years than any receiver I’ve ever seen. How many 30-year-old guys get mad when they run a 4.5?”

Indeed, Monk, who turned 32 yesterday, is having his best season in four years with 66 catches, a 13.7 average and six touchdowns. As a testament to his consistency, Monk has caught passes in 97 consecutive games (105 including playoffs). Similarly, at 31 in 1973, Taylor had his most productive season in four years with 59 catches, a 13.6 average and seven touchdowns.

Monk is 6 feet 3 and his 209 pounds are distributed over his lanky frame. Taylor was 6-3 and weighed 210, with a similar build.

Taylor was an all-America running back at Arizona State and the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1964, when he rushed for 755 yards and set a record for running backs with 53 catches. He was switched to receiver in 1966 and led the league in catches the next two years.

Monk, who ran for 1,140 yards and caught a then-school record 102 passes at Syracuse, broke Taylor’s Redskins rookie receiving record in 1980. Four years later, he made those 106 catches and led the NFL again in 1985 with 91.

And when Bobby Mitchell sees Monk, he thinks of Taylor.

“If you didn’t put the names and numbers on the backs of their jerseys and sent Art and Charley on 10 patterns in the course of a game, I think you would have a hard time deciding who was who,” said Mitchell, the Redskins’ assistant general manager and himself a Hall of Fame receiver. “Both were consistent and durable. Neither had blinding speed. You could outrun them in a race, but put them on a football field and it’s a different story.

“And both Charley and Art have that sixth sense. You know how some people, when they’re driving, are able to think ahead and know what’s going to happen in front of them? That’s what both Art and Charley had on the football field, that knack of thinking ahead.”

The Redskins were thinking ahead when they drafted both Monk and Taylor. Although Monk immediately became a receiver, Theismann noted that he still runs more in the herky-jerky manner of a running back. And Taylor was switched to receiver after two years to take some of the pressure off Mitchell and because, as Jurgensen said, “Charley used to outrun his blockers [as a running back].”

Theismann said Taylor was more fluid in his patterns than Monk. Jurgensen said Monk is a more disciplined pattern runner than Taylor. But they agreed that both are extremely strong.

“I remember one time against Dallas, Charley caught a pass across the middle and two or three Cowboys hit him, but he bounced off them, spun around and went 40 yards for a touchdown,” Mitchell said. “He could hit people and tear their heads off.”

Jurgensen said Taylor had a mean streak that Monk doesn’t have, but Theismann said Monk was like Taylor in being at his best once he caught the ball.

“And both those guys would really launch themselves for the ball,” Theismann added. “They had no respect for their bodies. If they dived for the ball and got their hands on a pass, they were going to come up with it.”

Monk never complains about not being thrown to enough, with Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark also on hand. But Jurgensen said Taylor demanded the ball, although he played with Pro Bowlers Mitchell and Jerry Smith.

Now that Monk has moved up into the highest echelon of receivers, the question is how long he’ll keep playing. Taylor spent 1976 on injured reserve and retired a year later at 35 after his chronically sore left knee limited him to 14 catches.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs says Monk’s work habits are as good as any player he’s ever been around and “he’ll probably play until he gets bored.”

After he passes Taylor, Monk will still be 100 catches short of retired Chargers star Charlie Joiner and 160 or so behind all-time leader Steve Largent, who’s retiring this month from the Seattle Seahawks. Monk has said he doesn’t think much about breaking Largent’s record or making the Hall of Fame, but Taylor said his protege is just as competitive.

“That’s bull about Art not caring about the record or the Hall of Fame,” Taylor said. “We’re all in this profession to be the best. I see Art playing a long time still. I don’t think anything can stop him but himself.”

The Washington Times
December 18, 1989
Play of the Game: Art Monk’s 60-yard Touchdown Catch
David Elfin

The Redskins played a first half against the Atlanta Falcons that won’t make anyone’s highlight film and trailed 27-10. But in the second half, the Redskins were a new team, fueled by Art Monk’s 60-yard catch and sprint for a TD early in the third quarter. Here’s how it unfolded. Monk (81) lined up in the slot on the right side, drawing coverage from the Falcons’ Scott Case (25). With QB Mark Rypien executing a play-action fake into the line, Monk headed upfield about 15 yards before cutting across the middle with Case way behind. The middle was open because Atlanta safety Tim Gordon (41) had dropped deep, with his back to Monk. Rypien delivered the ball at the Atlanta 45, and Monk sprinted down the sideline for the touchdown. The Redskins still trailed (27-17) but had seized momentum and later went ahead to stay.

The Washington Times
January 24, 1992
Catching On; Bills have a trio that mirrors Posse
David Elfin

Consider the parallels:

* For much of 1989, Washington’s Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders only did interviews as a group so each would get the same amount of attention. Buffalo’s James Lofton, Andre Reed and Don Beebe regularly have dinner together the night before a game.

* The 35-year-old Lofton has 699 career catches, the fourth-most in NFL history. This season, Lofton, who has an industrial engineering degree from Stanford, caught 57 passes, his most since 1986, for a career-best eight touchdowns. He was chosen for his eighth Pro Bowl, his first since 1985.

The equally lanky 34-year-old Monk has 801 career catches, the second-most in NFL history. This season the thoughtful Syracuse graduate caught 71 passes, eight for touchdowns. A national high school hurdles champion, Monk, like former NCAA long jump champion Lofton, does his best work along the sideline.

Lofton, who is just 55 yards shy of Steve Largent’s yardage record, described himself as “old,” but Monk said he’s amazed that Lofton has been able to retain his world-class speed after 14 NFL seasons. Bills offensive coordinator Ted Marchibroda raved about the ability of both receivers to beat much younger cornerbacks down the boundaries.

While Monk and Lofton cruise toward the Hall of Fame and Clark and Reed head in that direction, Sanders and Beebe are looking for a share of the spotlight on Sunday.

The Washington Times
January 27, 1992
One thing was certain this night: The Redskins had the best team
David Elfin

Art Monk owned the first quarter. Gary Clark ruled the third. Ricky Sanders made the day’s best catch for 41 yards. The Posse is one of the big reasons the Redskins are champs again.

The Washington Times
January 27, 1992
Levy concedes, says Redskins are better than Bills
David Elfin


An apparent first-quarter touchdown reception by Washington’s Art Monk was disallowed after the instant replay showed his left foot was out of bounds.

It was the first Super Bowl touchdown to be reversed, and the call also produced the first scoreless opening quarter since 1977. It was also the first time a team had been shut out in the first half since Cincinnati trailed San Francisco 20-0 in Super Bowl XVI.

* 6 – Number of Redskins to play on all three Super Bowl winning teams (Art Monk, Don Warren, Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Monte Coleman).

The Washington Times
July 30, 1993
Monk back in stride ; Veteran says he still believes in himself
David Elfin

Monk laughed when asked if he shaved his head last weekend in order to get faster. Unlike the coaches, he doesn’t think he’s lost a step.

“I feel great, and my weight is down to 205 [from 210],” Monk said. “I never had great speed. I never had great quickness. I always got the job done. I’ve never been the great downfield receiver [which is why he has just 62 touchdowns among his 847 catches]. I was always in the right situations. It [the demotion] definitely spurred me on to really prepare myself for this year. I’ve always been in great shape, but this is probably the best shape I’ve been in for a long time. I want to still be able to run and keep up with the rest of them and do all the things I’ve always done.

“I don’t need to show them [coaches and management] anything,” Monk added. “There’s really nothing for me to prove. I’m going to work hard like I always do, do the best I can and let them make the decisions. ”


Art Monk’s career highlights:

1976-79 – Caught 102 passes for 1,644 yards, rushed 1,140 yards and gained 1,105 yards in returns at Syracuse.

1980 – First-round draft pick by the Redskins. Set club rookie record with 58 receptions and named to NFL all-rookie team.

1984 – Caught 106 passes to set NFL season record. Voted team MVP and named to the first of three straight Pro Bowls.

1985 – 91 receptions were second in NFL.

1987 – Caught 40-yard pass in Super Bowl XXII victory.

1989 – Became club’s all-time leading receiver, passing Charley Taylor’s 649.

1991 – Became NFL’s second all-time leading receiver in leading Redskins to Super Bowl XXVI victory.

1992 – Became NFL’s top career receiver, passing Steve Largent’s 819.

The Washington Times
April 7, 1994
Monk, Redskins part after 14 years
David Elfin


The legacy of Washington Redskins wide receiver Art Monk, who will not return for the 1994 season:

* NFL’s all-time leading receiver, with 888 catches

* Receptions in 164 consecutive games through ’93 (2nd all-time)

* Played on three league champions, four conference champions

* Three-time Pro Bowl pick

The Washington Times
October 27, 1995
Monk still in shape, hopes to land a job
David Elfin

Monk wasn’t re-signed by the Redskins in 1994 when he balked at a huge pay cut. By the time he lowered his price, Washington had signed Henry Ellard so Monk went to New York. Although he caught 46 passes for 581 yards and three touchdowns last season, the Jets opted not to re-sign Monk and went into the season with 79 career catches among their wide receivers.

“I was a little surprised, but the emotions weren’t the same as when I left Washington,” said Monk, one of six Redskins to play on all three of their Super Bowl-winning teams. “I was very disappointed, downhearted, frustrated and confused then. But I look back and I know I did more than I ever thought I would. I couldn’t catch the ball to save my life when I got to Syracuse. I know one day my figure will be way down the totem pole, but I can say I had the record at one time. What do I have to complain about?”

So the usually taciturn Monk was able to enjoy it when his induction into the Syracuse University-Washington, D.C. Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night turned into a roast/testimonial for a retired star.

NFL senior vice president Val Pinchbeck read a letter from Paul Tagliabue in which the commissioner wrote that he looked forward to being with Monk at his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Redskins assistant general manager Bobby Mitchell, a Hall of Fame receiver himself, jokingly warned Monk not to bump into his bust as he strolled the hallways of the shrine in Canton, Ohio.

The Washington Times
November 1, 1995
Redskins should give Monk a shot
David Elfin

But where can the Redskins find a veteran wideout this late in the season? How about in Great Falls?

Art Monk, the leading receiver in Redskins and NFL history with 934 catches, has been working out three hours a day since the New York Jets opted not to re-sign him this past winter.

Just last week, Monk told The Washington Times that he still hoped to hook on with somebody to catch the 66 passes he needs to become the first receiver to catch 1,000.

And the bitterness that Monk felt 18 months ago when he spurned a $500,000 pay cut and Washington signed Ellard to replace him has dissipated. Monk still considers himself a Redskin and can’t see retiring as anything else, even if only for one of those ceremonial one-day gigs such as running back Roger Craig and San Francisco celebrated in 1994.

Sure, Monk will be 38 next month, but he never needed much speed to get open on those 10-yard down-and-outs. Monk is also ultra-reliable. He played in his final 119 straight games, including postseason. Linebacker Marvcus Patton has Washington’s longest streak with 82 in a row, dating back to the 1990 playoffs when he was with Buffalo.

The other top available receiver is former Annandale High School and Virginia Tech star Ray Crittenden. His numbers in two years with New England are 44 catches, 672 yards and four touchdowns are roughly what Monk produced in his 16th season. Monk caught 46 passes for 581 yards and three touchdowns in 1994 while extending his string of consecutive games with a catch to a league-record 180. And Crittenden’s ailing knee scares NFL personnel types.

Signing Monk would also help bind the wounds caused by the unpleasant departures from Washington in the past three-plus years of such key Redskins as Gary Clark, Mark Rypien, Brad Edwards, Danny Copeland, Andre Collins, Mark Schlereth, Earnest Byner and Ricky Sanders.

Also, attendance at RFK Stadium, which averaged 54,946 in 1992, coach Joe Gibbs’ final season, averaged 51,246 last season. Attendance is up to an average of 53,682 through five games this year, but the final three home games are against a boring Seattle team, Philadelphia on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (for which the Redskins have averaged just 45,024 the past two years against the Eagles and New York Giants) and 4 p.m. Christmas Eve against the expansion Carolina Panthers.

Monk remains the most popular local athlete since Sonny Jurgensen hung up his cleats in 1974. An extra couple thousand fans would surely come to see Monk wind up his Hall of Fame career in burgundy and gold. That would make owner Jack Kent Cooke more content with his team.

Yes, it would be hard to get Monk even his one streak-extending catch per game when Ellard and Westbrook return, but Monk seems sufficiently humbled by his exile from the NFL to not chafe at being the fourth guy. Monk’s agent, ex-Redskin safety Brig Owens, said money wouldn’t be an issue either with Washington tight against the salary cap.

However, the Redskins, after looking yesterday at such non-luminaries as Jeff Query, Wesley Carroll and Terrence Warren, decided to go with just Shepherd, Winans and Truitt against the Chiefs, gambling that Westbrook and/or Ellard will be healthy for the Seahawks on Nov. 19 after next week’s bye. Rookie tight end Jamie Asher figures to be activated for the first time to give Frerotte another capable target.

But who would you rather have running patterns, the too-weak Truitt, the too-raw Asher or Monk, whose 12.6 yard average last season at age 36 was just three-tenths of a yard behind the team-best average of Pro Bowl teammate Rob Moore?

The Washington Times
September 1, 1996
Giving up the proud sounds, sights of RFK
David Elfin

“I’ve played in every stadium there is,” said Art Monk, a Redskins receiver from 1980 to ’93. “One thing that’s always been said about the Redskins is that we have the greatest fans in the NFL. I really feel that way. They just don’t support you and cheer for you win or lose. They’re educated. They know the game. It makes a big difference.”

The Washington Times
December 20, 1996
At RFK Stadium, one more for the road; Next season, Redskins relocate to the house that Jack Kent Cooke built
David Elfin

One could go on and on. Not only did Moseley set the record for consecutive field goals at RFK, but receiver Art Monk – a sure Hall of Famer – established the marks for catches in a career (against Denver in 1992) and a season (against St. Louis in 1984) there. And Theismann’s career came to a sudden end at RFK in 1985 when his leg was broken on a tackle by the Giants’ All-Pro linebacker, Lawrence Taylor.

The Washington Times
June 18, 1997
Monk announces retirement, wants to enter Hall a Redskin
David Elfin

For a man who once held NFL records for catches in a season and in a career and for most consecutive games with a catch, Art Monk never had much of an ego.

Others may have reveled in the limelight, but Monk shunned it. So it wasn’t surprising that when Monk officially announced his retirement yesterday, he didn’t do so at RFK Stadium or Redskin Park with a brass band playing “Hail To The Redskins.” Instead, the 39-year-old Monk quietly hung up his pass-catching gloves at a news conference at the downtown offices of Charles Brotman Communications.

“In my mind, I’ve been retired for over a year, but people kept asking me if I was retired, so I decided to make it official publicly,” said Monk, whose career actually ended when he broke his left arm after making a catch for Philadelphia on Dec. 24, 1995, two years after the final game of his 14-year tenure with the Washington Redskins. “I trained and rehabbed for a while after I broke my arm, but I didn’t want to chase people around to ask them for a job, so I decided it was time to move on to other things.”

Monk’s still hurt that he didn’t play his entire career in burgundy and gold, but he’s not as angry as he was in the spring of 1994 after he spurned a $400,000 pay cut from Washington and wound up signing with the New York Jets for the same $600,000 the Redskins had offered.

“It was disappointing not to have finished my career with the Redskins, but I realize that football is a business, and they did what they had to do,” said Monk, who’s talking to Redskins owner John Kent Cooke about returning to the roster for a day and thus officially retire as a Redskin. “I’ll always be a Redskin. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected to the Hall of Fame, it will be as a Redskin.”

The club feels much the same way.

“Nothing would delight us more than for Art Monk to officially retire as a Redskin,” Cooke said in a statement. “We look forward to signing Art one more time so that he can go into the Hall of Fame as a Redskin.”

Which only makes sense since it was as a Redskin that Monk broke Charley Hennigan’s single-season record for catches with 106 in 1984 and Hall of Famer Steve Largent’s mark for career catches with his 820th in 1992. Monk later broke Largent’s mark for consecutive games with a catch while with the Jets in 1994.

Green Bay’s Sterling Sharpe broke Monk’s single-season record in 1992, and seven other receivers have since passed it. San Francisco’s Jerry Rice topped Monk’s career mark in the 1995 finale and can break the consecutive games mark this October.

But there’s no challenging the greatness of Monk, who went to Syracuse as a halfback and left there as a receiver good enough to be Washington’s first-round draft pick in 1980, its first such selection in a dozen years.

Monk broke the club’s receiving record as a rookie and went on to help Washington and Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs win three Super Bowls, capture four NFC titles and make eight playoff appearances. During the seven non-strike seasons from 1984 to ’91, Monk averaged 81 catches, 1,088 yards and six touchdowns. And during his final eight seasons as a Redskin, Monk didn’t miss a game.

Ironically, Monk said his highlight came in a game in which he didn’t even play because of a broken foot, the 1982 NFC Championship against Dallas when Washington advanced to its first Super Bowl in a decade.

“I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of a great group of guys who were really committed to the game, who cared about each other and played for a great coach,” said Monk, who now spends his work hours as the part-owner of the Cactus Advertising agency in Chantilly, the director of his self-titled football camp and as one of the founders of the Good Samaritan Foundation. “We had a great run.”

The Washington Times
January 26, 1998
Favre and Elway provide rare fame-ous matchup
David Elfin

Pro Football Weekly came out with two controversial ratings last week: the top 100 players of all time and the top 50 of 1997.

The greatest ever were led by Cleveland running back Jim Brown, Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas, Chicago middle linebacker Dick Butkus, San Francisco receiver Jerry Rice and the eyebrow-raising Ronnie Lott, a cornerback and safety with the 49ers, Kansas City and Oakland.

The highest-rated Redskin was quarterback Sammy Baugh (49th). Others were receivers Art Monk (69th) and Charley Taylor (72nd), safety Ken Houston (73rd) and quarterback Sonny Jurgensen (74th).

The Washington Times
April 18, 1998
No 1st-round pick? That’s a blessing for Washington
David Elfin

As a scout, Taylor saw in Syracuse receiver Art Monk (1980-93), a former halfback, the same combination of grace and power that had allowed him to make the same position switch so successfully. Monk, Washington’s first first-rounder in 12 years, set the club rookie record for catches and went on to break the NFL’s season and career marks during his 14 years as a Redskin. Monk’s a sure Hall of Famer.

The Washington Times
September 29, 1998
Turner doesn’t plan changes
David Elfin

After three injury-marred seasons, Michael Westbrook is finally putting up big numbers. The fourth pick in the 1995 NFL Draft leads the league with 418 receiving yards. Westbrook is the first Redskin to reach 100 yards in three straight games since Gary Clark in 1987. Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell (1964) and future Hall of Famer Art Monk (1985) hold the club’s season record with six.

The Washington Times
January 13, 1999
Monk close to joining Redskins front office
David Elfin

Art Monk is on the verge of rejoining the Washington Redskins.

The team’s greatest receiver and one of the most beloved Redskins isn’t planning a comeback at 41. Instead, Monk is close to an agreement with Daniel Snyder, one of the franchise’s owners-in-waiting, to join the front office in an undetermined capacity.

“I’m very confident that we’re going to work something out,” Monk said. “Dan and I have talked regularly over the last couple of months.”

Snyder said on Monday that he had been in touch with Monk about joining their group. Monk said yesterday he plans to meet Snyder in a few days to figure out his role in conjuction with Snyder’s partners, Howard and Edward Milstein.

“Working in the front office is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Monk, who is currently vice president and director of business development for an advertising firm in Chantilly. “I had intended to approach the previous owners the Cooke family about working for them, but then all of this happened.”

As in the death of longtime owner Jack Kent Cooke in April 1997 and the franchise being put for sale by his estate last fall.

“It was tough to see the Cooke family lose the Redskins,” said Monk, whom club president John Kent Cooke re-signed for a day in 1997 so that he could retire as a Redskin. “When Dan approached me, I told him I didn’t want my name to get out because of my loyalty to the Redskins. I didn’t want John to think I was competing against him.”

Monk was a fearsome competitor on the field. His 940 catches and 183 consecutive games with a catch both rank second in NFL history. Monk is fifth all-time with 12,721 receiving yards. Washington’s top draft choice in 1980 out of Syracuse, Monk set a club rookie record with 58 catches. Two years later he helped the Redskins to their first of three Super Bowl titles during his 14 seasons in Washington.

Monk caught a then-NFL record 106 passes in 1984, the first of three straight Pro Bowl seasons.

The Washington Times
November 10, 2000
Colts, Jets collide in Indianapolis, and this time it really will matter
David Elfin

Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater, a first-time nominee, is one of seven players on the ballot who were voted to seven Pro Bowls. Another first-time nominee who might get in is Washington receiver Art Monk, who held the career receptions record from 1992-95.

The Washington Times
November 18, 2000
Nice catch, but how much is it worth? In today’s pass-happy NFL, the measure of greatness among receivers is changing
David Elfin

In the first 12 years of the 16-game schedule (1978-89), only the Redskins’ Art Monk caught 100 passes or more in a season. In the past five years, 13 players have done so. They include a fullback (Centers), a player primarily known as a kick returner (Eric Metcalf) and three wideouts (Brett Perriman, Robert Brooks and Terance Mathis), two of whom didn’t even make the Pro Bowl.

The Washington Times
December 25, 2000
Coleman and Centers prove worth to Redskins once more
David Elfin

Robiskie feels so strongly about Centers that he ordered rookie quarterback Todd Husak to throw two late screen passes to the fullback so he could reach seven catches for the day and 80 for the season, which earned him a $250,000 bonus. Only likely Hall of Famer Art Monk ever caught more passes in a season for the Redskins (106 in 1984).

The Washington Times
July 3, 2002
From Green to Johnson, D.C. always cherishes its own
David Elfin


Painfully shy off the field and steady but not spectacular in his play, Monk might not have been admired in some towns. But in grind-it-out Washington, Monk – not flashier fellow receivers Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders – became an all-time favorite.

“Being loved by the fans goes beyond your performance on the field,” said Monk, 44, who set many NFL marks as a Redskin from 1980 to 1993. “People react to how you conduct yourself on and off the field. They make a place in their hearts for you. A lot of it has to do with being here a while and establishing a relationship with the community.”

The Washington Times
January 25, 2003
Monk at the door of shrine
David Elfin

Art Monk was the antithesis of current receivers like Keyshawn “Just Throw Me the Ball” Johnson, Randy “I Play Hard When I Feel Like It” Moss and Terrell “Watch Me Sign This” Owens.

At one point in 1992, Monk held NFL records for catches in a career, a season and consecutive games. But those accomplishments were never the point for Monk, who starred for the Washington Redskins from 1980 to 1993.

Washington, which hadn’t reached the postseason in the three years before his arrival as its top draft pick out of Syracuse, got there eight times during his 14 seasons. The Redskins have been to the playoffs just once in the nine years since they cut Monk in 1994.

“A lot of guys have it backwards,” Monk once said. “They want to do well and hope their team does well. I believed if the team did well, the individual things would take care of themselves.”

Now the greatest “individual thing” of all could happen for Monk today. He is a finalist for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This is the third straight year Monk has been a finalist, and his chances probably have never been better. Between four and seven of the 15 finalists will be elected, and only former Los Angeles Raiders/Kansas City Chiefs running back Marcus Allen is considered a lock.

Also on the ballot are defensive ends Elvin Bethea and Claude Humphrey, linebackers Harry Carson and Randy Gradishar, guards Joe DeLamielleure and Bob Kuchechenberg, cornerback Lester Hayes, receiver James Lofton, quarterback Ken Stabler, coach Hank Stram, owner Ralph Wilson, general manager George Young and offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman.

Monk’s three Pro Bowls were the fewest of the 12 eligible players, but only Stram could match his three championships. And though the NFL has become pass-happy since Monk retired in 1995 after a year with the New York Jets and another with Philadelphia, he’s still fifth all time with 940 catches and ninth with 12,721 receiving yards.

“Art had great hands, ran great routes and was a big, physical receiver who could surprise you with his speed,” said Tampa Bay receiver Keenan McCardell, Monk’s teammate in 1991. “He caught every ball that was thrown to him. I learned a lot from Art. He was the ultimate competitor, a no-nonsense guy. I loved the way Art prepared himself. He was always about business. He didn’t look for a lot of press. He just did what he was supposed to do.”

Typically, Monk set the season record of 106 catches by making clutch grab after clutch grab during the game-winning drive that clinched the NFC East title for the Redskins in the 1984 finale against St. Louis.

Not counting safety Paul Krause, who spent most of his career with Minnesota, the last Redskins player elected to the Hall of Fame was running back John Riggins in 1992. Coaches Joe Gibbs [1996] and George Allen [2002] have been chosen in the interim.

The Washington Times
February 5, 2005
Ex-Redskins Grimm, Monk among finalists
David Elfin

Receiver Art Monk arrived in Washington in 1980, and guard Russ Grimm followed the next year. During their 11 years together, the Redskins made the playoffs seven times, went to four Super Bowls and won three championships. Today Monk and Grimm are united again as two of the 15 finalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Monk, 47, who retired as the NFL’s leading all-time receiver with 940 catches and a record streak of 183 games with a catch, is a finalist for the third consecutive year. Monk, let go by new Redskins coach Norv Turner in 1994, has been involved in business ventures since his retirement after the 1995 season.

Grimm, 45, was chosen for four straight Pro Bowls before injuries began to plague him in 1988. He retired after the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI and immediately became an assistant to coach Joe Gibbs. Grimm, now Pittsburgh’s offensive line coach, is a finalist for the first time.

Neither was a flashy player. Monk was the master of the 10-yard out pattern and as reliable as they come, but he scored just 68 touchdowns. Grimm used his superior strength and smarts rather than top-notch athleticism to succeed in the trenches.

The Washington Times
December 19, 2005
Injured Thomas to miss rest of season
Ryan O’Halloran, David Elfin and Jon Siegel

Redskins receiver Santana Moss beat Dallas with touchdown catches of 39 and 70 yards just 71 seconds apart late in the fourth quarter of Week 2.

So there was no way the Cowboys would let him beat them again yesterday. They did keep Moss out of the end zone, but he set up two first-half touchdowns with a 42-yard bomb and a screen that he turned into a 31-yard gain.

“I don’t think I have their number,” Moss said. “Dallas has a better defense than a lot of teams, but I think they were like, ‘We’re not going to worry about this guy all the time. We’ll roll our coverage when we need to.’

“And when they singled on me, I ended up getting by [cornerback Aaron Glenn]. I had a touchdown, but they didn’t give it to me. At least I set up two touchdowns.”

With 75 catches and 1,240 yards, Moss is having the most prolific season by a Redskins receiver since Art Monk caught a team-record 106 passes for 1,372 yards in 1984.

The Washington Times
December 1, 2006
AFC Domination
David Elfin

Tough Texan — It’s too bad Andre Johnson plays for 3-8 Houston. The standout receiver has 84 catches, 16 more than anyone else, and hardly anyone knows about it. Only three receivers have posted bigger margins in leading the league since the 1970 merger: Washington’s Art Monk by 17 over Cleveland’s Ozzie Newsome in 1984; San Francisco’s Jerry Rice over Atlanta’s Andre Rison in 1990; and Indianapolis’ Marvin Harrison by an astounding 31 over Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward in 2002.

The Washington Times
February 4, 2007
Monk misses cut once again
David Elfin

MIAMI — The seventh time wasn’t the charm for Art Monk. 

The former Washington Redskins wide receiver and longtime teammate Russ Grimm both fell short of election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame yesterday. 

Monk, who retired in 1995 as the NFL’s all-time leading receiver, made it past the first cut from 17 to 10 candidates. Grimm, a Pro Bowl selection at guard each season from 1983-86 before injuries began shortening his career, didn’t even make it that far. 

Their rejections leave the Redskins, who made the playoffs eight times, reached four Super Bowls and won three titles from 1981 to 1992, with just one Hall of Fame player. That’s running back John Riggins, who retired in 1985 after just three of those playoff berths, two of the Super Bowls and one of the championships. Another former teammate, cornerback Darrell Green, will be eligible next year. 

Meanwhile, the 1970s Detroit Lions, who never won a playoff game, have two Hall of Famers with tight end Charlie Sanders joining cornerback Lem Barney yesterday. 

“A good man and legitimate Hall of Famer is being denied entry for reasons we never know, by people who secretly vote,” Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said. “Art Monk is a Hall of Famer by any measure. This is not right.” 

Added Joe Gibbs, the Redskins’ coach then and now: “I’m disappointed that Art wasn’t recognized for election into the Hall of Fame today, but I remain confident that he will be recognized for all the positive contributions he has brought to the game. I can’t think of a more deserving player or person that possesses more Hall of Fame credentials than Art.” 

Monk’s cause might have been hurt this year by the presence on the ballot of former Dallas receiver Michael Irvin, who was elected yesterday. Irvin’s absence next year gives Monk potentially a window for election, though he’ll be joined on the ballot by former Vikings star Cris Carter, who will be eligible for the first time. 

Monk finished his career with 940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns. Irvin caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns. Carter tops them both, having hauled in 1,101 passes for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns. 

Grimm’s chances were affected by the presence of guard Bruce Matthews, who was elected yesterday in his first year of eligibility. Tackle Gary Zimmerman, selected to the All-Decade teams of the 1980s and 1990s, didn’t get in again this year, but he is formidable competition for Grimm. The three-time finalist’s hopes are also hurt by the fact that he stayed healthy for only nine of his 11 seasons.


  1. 81 Reasons to Induct Art Monk

    1) 12,721 Receiving Yards (#9 all time, eight years after retirement)

    2) 940 Receptions ( was #1, is now #5 eight years after retiring)

    3) 68 Receiving Touchdowns (still in top 30, all time)

    4) 224 Games played

    5) Caught at least one pass in 183 consecutive games (once a record)

    6) Helped Washington to three SB victories in four appearances.

    7) Three consecutive Pro Bowl Selections

    8) “Art was Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice was” – Joe Theismann

    9) Record of 106 receptions in 1984 stood for eight years.

    10) “Quiet about his work, very loud with his results” – Mark Rypien

    11) First to record 106 receptions in one season

    12) First to catch at least one pass in 164 consecutive games

    13) First to catch more than 900 passes.

    14) Caught 58 passes as a rookie, unanimous All-Rookie Selection

    15) Redskins 1984 MVP

    16) 50 or more reception in a season 9 times

    17) 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season 5 times

    18) Master of the medium route over the middle, aka “No Man’s Land”

    19) First Redskin to produce 3 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons

    20) Prototype for the modern receiver

    21) 3-time 1st or 2nd team All-NFC Team selection

    22) In ’85, named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Pro Team

    23) In ’85, named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team

    24) In ’85, named to the UPI All-NFL Team

    25) In ’86, named to the UPI All-NFC Team

    26) Founded the Good Samaritan Foundation, with teammates.

    27) 1, 062 Playoff yards

    28) Largent, Lofton and Stallworth are already in.

    29) The consummate pro; made the big catch, went back to the huddle.

    30) Not a “Hot Dog”; let his play on the field do all the talking.

    31) Nicknamed “Money” by teammates, “Artist” by the fans

    32) Founded the Student Training Opportunity Program, with teammates

    33) Started the Art Monk Football Camp” in 1983, and it’s still going.

    34) 16-year career, 0 arrests.

    35) Named to TSN’s “100 Greatest Football Players” list

    36) Never once disappointed the team or the fans, on the field or off.

    37) A first round draft pick that played like a first round draft pick.

    38) Has more career catches than anyone currently in the Hall.

    39) Putting loud jerks in over Monk sends the wrong message to kids.

    40) Art does not lobby to get himself inducted

    41) First down machine on 3rd and long

    42) Still holds the club record for catches in a season (106)

    43) Still holds the club record for passes caught in a game (13, twice)

    44) Honored as one of the “Washingtonians of the Year” in 1992

    45) Focuses on the forgotten “high school aged” youth in DC.

    46) “I don’t know about the criteria, but whatever it is, I believe Art has achieved it” –Joe Theismann

    47) “He was big, he was strong, and he was intelligent. He had everything”-Joe Gibbs, HOF inductee

    48) “Art Monk was an example for Jerry Rice. That’s what Jerry always told me.”- Ronnie Lott, HOF inductee

    49) “There’s nothing negative to say. He has the numbers, the catches, the championships.” –Lott

    50) “Spend a day with Art Monk, and your life will improve by 10%”- Theismann

    51) “You have a Hall of Fame for all it represents. I know he represents all that it’s about. Integrity, love and passion for the game, community, what he gave back. Look how he conducted himself. Nobody I know deserves it more.” –Lott

    52) If he doesn’t get in, they might as well close the Hall.

    53) “There was never a classier player in this franchise’s history, or in league history, than Art Monk. You always knew the team would be getting Art Monk’s best effort day in and day out.” –Charlie Casserly

    54) “Monk is headed to Canton downhill on roller skates”- Bill Parcells, 1995

    55) Only one other player, linebacker Monte Coleman, has been on the field for the Redskins more than Monk.

    56) Art Monk is almost as proud of his relative anonymity as he is the record-setting numbers he compiled over a 16-year NFL career.

    57) When Monk spoke, it was usually with tough catches in the clutch moments of big games.

    58) Nothing came naturally for Monk, who spent countless hours on the practice field and many more behind the projector.

    59) I never saw Monk drop a pass. Period.

    60) Monk’s 40-yard catch with eight minutes left in the first quarter of SBXXII was Doug Williams’ first completion of what would be a record setting game.

    61) Named in a 1992 poll during the team’s 50th Anniversary Season as the most popular Redskin of all time.

    62) Participates in a “Kid’s Fishing Day” for underprivileged kids

    63) Has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, reciting children’s fairy tales with musical accompaniment.

    64) “He’s more than just his receptions. Few players have been able to achieve what he’s achieved.” –Richie Petitbon

    65) “He is a gifted athlete who takes great care of himself. He’s a guy who works at his craft, and responds to any challenge. However, he does it so quietly that his accomplishments are sometimes overlooked.”- Joe Gibbs

    66) Selected to the 1989 All-Madden Team

    67) Early in his career, Art arranged and scheduled charity basketball games for the Redskins.

    68) “I can’t see how a receiver could be more valuable to a team.” –Gibbs

    69) Fame is often hard earned. Character is often elusive to define. A man of great character himself, Art Monk encompasses what it means to be a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    70) Monk wasn’t a “SportsCenter” type of receiver — more like a “Masterpiece Theatre” type.

    71) You wouldn’t see Monk pull out a Sharpie to sign a ball after scoring a touchdown.

    72) “He embodied the old school, and for that alone he should be enshrined so that when a father takes his son through the Hall of Fame, he can say, “Son, here is a man who once caught 106 passes in a season when no one was catching 100 passes. Here was a man who caught a pass in 183 straight games. And not once did he ever pull a cell phone out to make a call after any of those catches.” –Thomas Loverro, Washington Times

    73) Football is a game of first downs and Monk was the receiver who would move the chains.

    74) He has since been passed in this pass-crazy era, but in the context of when he played, Art Monk was a Hall of Fame receiver.

    75) He did this while never playing with a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.

    76) Critics will say Monk benefited from playing in Joe Gibbs’ system. What might be the case is that the Gibbs system benefited from having Monk.

    77) “I believe he’s a Hall of Famer. I was a pro scout when he was playing, so it was my job to know who those guys were. I would put Art in that category, but apparently there are a lot of Hall of Fame voters who don’t feel Art Monk was in that category. It’s hard for me to believe they ever saw him play.” –Bill Polian, President Indianapolis Colts

    78) He was the anti-Terrell Owens.

    79) He was the standard-bearer, the mold-maker and the receiver every team of his era wished they’d had.

    80) He’s already a Hall Of Famer off the field.

    81) It’s time.

    Comment by Mark Barnette — January 10, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

  2. In considering Monk vs. Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, it should be noted that Monk’s personal playoff stats are the best of the bunch. His yards per game, catches per game, and yards per catch numbers beat out those of Carter, Brown, and Reed. Carter and Reed have Very Small advantages in TDs per game, while Monk beats out Brown even in this category. Playoff TD numbers are close, even though all of these other guys played in passing-first offenses, while Monk’s Redskins teams were power running teams at heart. If you compare each of these guys’ numbers in NFC/AFC Championship games, Monk sweeps ALL categories, outgaining the next best candidate by nearly 40 YARDS a game!
    Not only this, but Monk and the Redskins faced Much better competition in their playoff games. If you compare these candidates based on the number of Super Bowl winners and losers they played during their post season exploits, you’ll find that Monk and the ‘Skins come out WAY on top.
    Consider these purely anectdotal facts: Carter and the Vikings lost their two NFC Championship game appearances to the Chris Chandler-led Atlanta Falcons and the Kerry Collins-led NY Giants. Monk and the ‘Skins NEVER lost a playoff game to a team that was more than 2 years removed from a Super Bowl championship. I’ve created a statistic to compare the greatness of playoff opponents called the POGQ (playoff opponent greatness quotient) which I will not trouble you with here. Suffice to say, Monk and the ‘Skins win out in that comparison. Not only that, the teams who Monk and the ‘Skins faced in the playoffs actually had a higher regular season winning percentage than those faced by Carter, Brown or Reed.

    So Monk put up better personal playoff numbers, while his team was winning a higher percentage of their playoff games, against stronger playoff competition, and bringing home Super Bowl rings.
    All those pro bowls these other guys went to must look pretty insignificant.

    I have prepared a powerpoint presentation on this subject. If the person running this site would like a copy, please e-mail me and let me know where I can send it as an attachment.

    Comment by remember the redskins — September 28, 2007 @ 10:11 am

  3. A big “thank you” is due to Mr. Elfin for his work on Art Monk’s induction.

    Comment by remember the redskins — July 20, 2008 @ 8:19 am

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