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Paul Brown, Anthony Munoz headline inaugural class of Bengals Ring of Honor

Paul Brown Stadium will now feature another tribute to the Cincinnati football pioneer.

The Bengals announced Thursday the formation of a Ring of Honor to immortalize the franchise's great figures and players.

The two inaugural members announced Thursday were Paul Brown, the Bengals' founder, first coach and first general manager and the namesake for the franchise's current stadium, and Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz. Bengals season ticket members and suite owners will pick the remaining two members from a ballot released in May.

"We are embarking on an exciting new chapter," Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said in a statement. "This is an important year to bring people back together and engage in meaningful ways that build community. Through the Bengals Ring of Honor, we will be able to celebrate our great history and keep memories alive as we create content that can be shared for generations to come."

Mike Brown, Bengals president and son of Paul Brown, added, "The Bengals Ring of Honor is a way to show our appreciation for individuals who have made a significant impact on our franchise. We selected Paul Brown and Anthony Munoz. They are in the Hall of Fame in Canton and it pleases me to put them out front as our initial inductees. We have a lot great players and coaches to honor and it will be fun to reminisce as we go about this process."

Paul Brown was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1967. As coach of the Bengals from 1968 to 1975, Brown went 48-36 and won two division titles. He served as the franchise's part-owner and president until his death in 1991.

Selected third overall in the 1980 NFL Draft, Munoz spent 13 seasons with the Bengals, was voted to 11 Pro Bowls, received nine first-team All-Pro nods and earned the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 1991. He was enshrined in Canton in 1998, the first Bengals player to enter the Hall of Fame.

"I am humbled to be a member of the inaugural class of the Bengals Ring of Honor alongside Paul Brown," Munoz said. "I think about all of the guys I played with when I think about this honor. The organization has had some amazing, amazing players over the 50-plus years of existence. I think it's great because now we get to celebrate all of the guys and that's what it's all about."

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