James Arthur “Art” Monk (born December 5, 1957) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Monk was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Monk was drafted in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. During his rookie year, he was a unanimous All-Rookie selection and had 58 receptions, which was a Redskins’ rookie record.
In 1984, Monk caught a then-NFL record 106 receptions for a career-best 1,372 yards. He caught eight or more passes in six games, had five games of 100 yards or more, and in a game against the San Francisco 49ers caught ten passes for 200 yards. That season, he earned team MVP honors and his first Pro Bowl selection. Monk went over the 1,000-yard mark in each of the following two seasons, becoming the first Redskins receiver to produce three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. He also became the first Redskins player to catch 70 or more passes in three consecutive seasons. In 1989, he was part of a prolific wide receiver trio (along with Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders) nicknamed “The Posse,” who became the first trio of wide receivers in NFL history to post 1,000-plus yards in the same season.
During Monk’s 14 seasons with the Redskins, the team won three Super Bowls (XVII, XXII, and XXVI) and had only three losing seasons. He was an All-Pro and All-NFC choice in 1984 and 1985 and was named second-team All-NFC in 1986. He was also selected to play in the Pro Bowl following the 1984, 1985 and 1986 seasons.
Nine times during his 15-season career with the Redskins, New York Jets, and Philadelphia Eagles, Monk exceeded 50 catches in a season and five times gained more than 1,000 receiving yards. In 1992, with his 820th career catch, Monk became the NFL’s then-all-time leader in receptions.
Monk finished his career with 940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns, along with 332 rushing yards. He was the first player in NFL history to record over 102 receptions in a season and over 900 receptions in a career. His most noteworthy NFL accomplishment was his record for career receptions (940), which was broken by Jerry Rice in the final week of the 1995 during Monk’s last season in the league. Monk became the league’s all-time leading receiver in a Monday Night game against Denver on October 12, 1992, with his 820th reception. However, later that year Monk lost his all-time single season reception record to Sterling Sharpe, who finished with 108. He was the first to eclipse 900 receptions and retired with the most consecutive games with a catch (183). He was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. Monk also became the first player in the league to record a touchdown reception in 15 consecutive seasons as well was the first player ever to record at least 35 receptions in 15 consecutive seasons. Through the course of his 14 years with the Redskins, Monk converted nearly two-thirds of his 888 catches into first downs.
On August 2, 2008, Monk, along with fellow Washington Redskins teammate Darrell Green, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Upon his induction into the Hall of Fame, Monk received the longest standing ovation in Pro Football Hall of Fame history, lasting four minutes and four seconds when later timed by NFL Films. In 2012, Monk was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.