Anthony Munoz and Paul Brown are the headliners of the Bengals' inaugural Ring of Honor class. Munoz, one of the greatest left tackles in NFL history, and Brown, the franchise's founder and original coach, were named to the franchise's inaugural Ring of Honor class on April 8. At the time of that announcement, the Bengals revealed that two more franchise legends would join Munoz and Brown in this year's induction class.
The team recently revealed the 17 nominees for this year's class. Season-ticket holders will vote to determine which players will make the final cut.
Here's a look at each of the nominees.
- QB Ken Anderson (1971-86): A four-time Pro Bowler, Anderson won league MVP honors in 1981 while leading the Bengals to the franchise's first Super Bowl. Anderson paced the NFL in passing twice and in completion percentage on two other occasions.
- RT Willie Anderson (1996-07): A starter during each of his dozen seasons in Cincinnati, Anderson made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2003-06. A model of consistency, Anderson missed just two starts from 1997-2006.
- K Jim Breech (1980-92): Not only is Breech still the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 1,151 points, but he also holds the NFL record for most overtime field goal attempts without a miss. Breech finished his career with a field goal percentage of 81.8% in the postseason, which is higher than Adam Vinatieri, Justin Tucker and Hall of Famer Morten Andersen. A member of the Bengals' two AFC championship teams, Breech was the leading scorer in Super Bowl XXIII.
- RB James Brooks (1984-91): The versatile Brooks earned four Pro Bowl selections with the Bengals from 1986-90. Brooks leads all Bengals running backs in total yards from scrimmage (9,459) and total touchdowns (64).
- WR Cris Collinsworth (1981-88): A three-time Pro Bowler, Collinsworth helped the Bengals capture their first Super Bowl berth during his rookie season. He led the Bengals in receiving yards in Super Bowls XVI and XXIII.
- WR Isaac Curtis (1973-84): A Pro Bowler during each of his first four seasons, Curtis' career 17.1 yards-per-reception average remains the franchise record. Anderson's favorite target throughout the 1970s, Curtis helped Cincinnati reach its first Super Bowl in 1981.
- RB Corey Dillon (1997-03): Dillon rewrote the Bengals' record book during his time in the Queen City. The three-time Pro Bowler is the Bengals' career rushing leader with 8,061 yards. His 28 100-yard games in Cincinnati are also a franchise record.
- QB Boomer Esiason (1984-92; 1997): The 1988 NFL MVP, Esiason led the Bengals to their second Super Bowl that season. He has more passing yards than any other left-handed quarterback in NFL history. His 490 passing yards against the Rams in 1990 remain the Bengals' single-game record.
- S David Fulcher (1986-92): The hard-hitting safety was named to three consecutive Pro Bowls (and was named an All-Pro once) from 1988-90. Fulcher had several big plays in Super Bowl XXIII that included a forced fumble and a sack of Joe Montana.
- WR Chad Johnson (2001-10): The talented and flamboyant Johnson earned five consecutive Pro Bowl selections (and two All-Pro nods) from 2003-07. The franchise's career receiving leader, Johnson led the NFL in receiving during the 2006 season. His play helped the Bengals capture division titles in 2005 and 2009.
- NT Tim Krumrie (1983-94): Cincinnati's Iron Man, Krumrie never missed a game during his 12 years with the Bengals. He earned two Pro Bowl selections while leading the Bengals in tackles on five different occasions.
- G Max Montoya (1979-89): One of the best pass-protection linemen of his era, Montoya had a stretch where he allowed just one hit in 237 pass attempts during the 1988 season. A three-time Pro Bowler, Montoya was an integral member of both of the Bengals' Super Bowl teams.
- G Dave Lapham (1974-83): Lauded for his ability to play all five positions on the offensive line, Lapham was a key member of the Bengals' 1981 AFC championship team. His protection helped Anderson throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns in Super Bowl XVI.
- CB Lamar Parrish (1970-77): One of top returners of his era, Parrish's four punt returns for touchdowns and his 18.78-yard punt-return average in 1974 remain franchise records. A six-time Pro Bowler, Parrish picked off 25 passes in Cincinnati while helping the Bengals win their first two division titles.
- CB Ken Riley (1969-83): Riley's 65 career interceptions are tied with Charles Woodson for fifth-most in NFL history. Riley's team records include most games played (207), interception return yards (596) and interception returns for touchdowns (five). His five interceptions in 1981 helped the Bengals capture the AFC title.
- TE Bob Trumpy (1968-77): A member of the Bengals' inaugural team, Trumpy was named to four Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro during the 1969 season. Regarded a formidable blocker and receiver, Trumpy's 22.57-yards-per-catch average during the 1969 season remains a team single-season record.
- LB Reggie Williams (1976-89): A career Bengal, Williams is second to Riley in most games played in Cincinnati (206). No. 4 on the franchise's career sack list, Williams led the Bengals in tackles on three separate occasions. He was tabbed as the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1986 and the Sports Illustrated Co-Sportsman of the Year in 1987.
The Bengals' Ring of Honor was created to "celebrate former players, coaches and club officials who made outstanding contributions to the Cincinnati Bengals football organization." The Bengals also want to honor players whose careers have yet to be recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Munoz is the only former Bengals player currently enshrined in Canton, Ohio.
"The Hall of Fame has chosen to ignore our players to a high degree and this is a way to honor them," Bengals owner Mike Brown said. "I think a lot of our players have been overlooked by the Hall of Fame that deserve consideration. We can do something about that by honoring them here."