Influential NFL owner Art Modell dead at 87

September 7, 2012

Art Modell during his ownership of the Cleveland Browns. Modell died Thursday at age 87.

Art Modell, one of the most influential owners in the history of the NFL, died Thursday of natural causes. He was 87. Modell was the owner of the Cleveland Browns, which became the Baltimore Ravens after he moved the franchise in 1996, forever earning the ire of Cleveland fans. Modell sold the Ravens in 2004, keeping a one percent share of the team. During his four decades as an NFL owner, Modell helped negotiate the league’s lucrative TV contracts, served as president of the NFL from 1967 to 1969, and chaired the negotiations for the first collective bargaining agreement with the players in 1968. He also was the driving force behind the 1970 contract between the NFL and ABC that brought us Monday Night Football.

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