Pro Bowl Week: Max Montoya’s final time in stripes
Max Montoya made four trips to the Pro Bowl during his career, however the 1989 event proved to be his last game in a Cincinnati Bengals helmet.
Less than a month later, Montoya signed with the Los Angeles Raiders after the Bengals made him an unprotected free agent. Then Bengals assistant GM Mike Brown said that Montoya had made a “moral commitment” not to look elsewhere, in return for his pay raise, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
The Bengals apparently figured Montoya was too invested in Cincinnati after 11 NFL seasons in the Queen City. Montoya, who formed the foundation of the Bengals’ offensive line along with Anthony Munoz, at the time owned two successful Mexican restaurants and had just built a house on an acre of land overlooking the Ohio River, according to a different Los Angeles Times article.
“I think they were taking a calculated risk, knowing that I had a lot of ties in Cincinnati and had been there for a lot of years and was very comfortable with the situation,” Montoya told the LA Times. “Any time you do something like that, you’re taking a calculated risk. They figured and I figured that I wasn’t going to go anywhere. But I didn’t think as many teams would come after me like they did and start swaying me with (money).”
When he signed with the Raiders for $1.45 million over two-years it was the most the club had ever paid an offensive lineman.
The UCLA standout played five seasons with the Raiders. He made his final trip to the Pro Bowl in 1993, his second to last NFL season.
Montoya continued to call Cincinnati his after he left the Bengals and then retired from football. He and his family owns Montoya’s Mexican Restaurant in Fort Mitchell, Ky. as well as four Penn Station East Coast Subs in Cincinnati. His son, Matt, worked on the latest season of HBO’s Hard Knocks which featured the Bengals.