Modell owned the Browns franchise from 1961-95 and the Ravens franchise from 1996-2004, before financial difficulties forced Modell to sell the team.
Modell will forever have a place in the hearts of Browns fans, as the owner who moved their beloved team from Cleveland, Ohio, to Baltimore, Md., in 1996, primarily because he felt Cleveland Municipal Stadium wasn’t a viable stadium for his team to play in, plus Modell was losing money by the truckload, so in his mind, something had to be done.
Four years after moving to Baltimore, the Ravens would win Super Bowl XXXV. The following season the team would draft tight end Todd Heap, and Heap would spend his first decade in the league in Baltimore, before moving on to the Cardinals.
Heap vividly remembered some good times he and Modell had together in Baltimore.
“I’ll fondly remember, after almost every game, going up and just visiting with him [Modell],” Heap said. “He always had my kids on his lap.”
“It was kind of like a constant deal weekly,” Heap said.
Heap has nothing but respect for Modell and the Ravens franchise that Modell fought so hard to bring to Maryland.
“He was kinda the guy that represented the franchise,” Heap said. “The people that he brought in, the leadership that he brought, the family atmosphere that he brought to the team, it’s kind of all I knew for a long time.”
“[He] definitely will be missed.”