Art Modell, former owner of the Baltimore Ravens, in a 1999 photo (AP)
BALTIMORE (AP) – The NFL is mourning the loss of Art Modell, who passed away from natural causes at the age of 87.
Modell was among the most important figures in the NFL as owner of the Browns but became a reviled figure in Cleveland after moving the team to Baltimore in 1996.
That franchise shift is believed to be the reason he’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
During his four decades as an NFL owner, Modell helped negotiate the league’s lucrative contracts with television networks, served as president of the NFL from 1967 to 1969, and chaired the negotiations for the first the collective bargaining agreement with the players in 1968.
He also was the driving force behind the 1970 contract between the NFL and ABC to televise games on Monday night.