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HoF Vote '07: Monk, Grimm Are Denied

Another disappointing outcome in Saturday's Hall of Fame vote: Redskins greats Art Monk and Russ Grimm have fallen short of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Monk was denied entry for the seventh time, and the Hall of Fame tally drew reaction from Redskins team officials.

"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 M. Snyder said on Saturday. "Art Monk is a Hall of Famer by any measure. This is not right."

Added Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs: "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 exclusion from the Hall of Fame has become increasingly controversial as wide receivers with lesser statistics earn induction.

That controversy won't go away anytime soon now.

The Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors, comprised of 40 journalists from around the country, decided to elect Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin into the 2007 class. Monk's statistics are overwhelmingly superior to Irvin's statistics.

Along with Irvin, the Hall of Fame class of 2007 includes Cleveland Browns guard Gene Hickerson, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans guard Bruce Matthews, Detroit Lions tight end Charlie Sanders, Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas and St. Louis Cardinals cornerback Roger Wehrli.

In 16 seasons--his first 14 with the Redskins--Monk caught 940 passes for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns.

By comparison, Monk surpasses Irvin in virtually every statistical category. Irvin finished his 12-year career with 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns.

The key difference between Irvin and Monk that seems to jump out to some Hall of Fame voters is that Irvin had a 15.9 yards-per-catch average to Monk's 13.5.

Monk thrived as an inside receiver, though, where it's sometimes harder to accumulate yards after catch. Monk was also asked to block to open up rushing lanes downfield for running backs--something at which the 6-3, 210-pounder excelled.

Monk was at his best when his team needed a catch to keep a drive alive. Through the course of his 14 years with the Redskins, Monk converted nearly two-third of his 888 catches into first downs.

Monk also holds numerous Redskins team records, including most career receptions, most career receiving yards, most receptions in a single game and most receptions in a season.

One of the most popular Redskins, Monk was the league's all-time leading receiver when he retired. He has since been passed by a host of wide receivers: Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Tim Brown Andre Reed and Marvin Harrison.

No other player currently in the Hall of Fame has caught more passes than Monk.

Grimm played center and guard for the Redskins from 1981-91 and earned four consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl from 1983-86. Grimm was also named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1980s.

He was an original member of "The Hogs," Joe Bugel's dominating group of offensive linemen who set the tone for the offense during the decade.

Grimm has been a finalist for Hall of Fame induction each of the last three years. He is currently serving as an assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals, but he has been a candidate for head coaching vacancies the last few years.

Monk and Grimm were both integral in leading the Washington Redskins to three Super Bowl championships in 1982, 1987 and 1991. Gibbs and running back John Riggins remain the only two Redskins from the team's Super Bowl era who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Another former Redskin, Reed, also did not earn Hall of Fame induction this year. Reed played the bulk of his 16-year NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, but spent his final season with the Redskins in 2000.

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