Several owners saluted Modell for helping to break the deadlock. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said to Cleveland fans, "Be sensitive in your memories of Art Modell. I know there have been some rough times there. Remember him for his positives."
Dan Rooney, the Steeler owner who voted against Modell's move from
Cleveland, although they have been friends for a long time, said, "He was
When a Cleveland reporter asked Rooney if it was true that Modell played a
key role, Rooney said, "Wipe that smirk off your face. When he did that, it
hadn't passed. We didn't have 23
votes. It was meaningful when he said that. That's what I'm trying to get
Rooney, a member of the seven-man committee that recommended Lerner, said,
"He'll run a good ship. I think Carmen Policy is very capable. I liked them
both [Lerner and the Dolans]. I could have been with Dolan, but he didn't have
the high bid."
Policy is the former San Francisco 49ers president who will run the team
When Lerner was asked how the fans in the Dawg Pound would react to him,
considering his role in moving the team in the first place, he said, "I
certainly hope that's not an issue. I guess that's up to them to decide how
they want to react. Our job is give them the best team we can."
Davis said he didn't think the difference between the Lerner and Dolan
bids was significant.
"I thought they were close. Sure. You're talking about 28 teams, about $1
million per team and when you pay the 20 percent capital gains tax, yeah, I
thought it was close," Davis said.
The $476 million will be divided 28 ways. Neither the Ravens nor the St.
Louis Rams will get a share of the expansion fee because they gave it up when
they made their deals to move.
Davis also said he thought that former Baltimore and Miami coach Don
Shula, who would have run the team for the Dolans, should have gotten more
Davis, who usually disagrees with the league on most policies, took a shot
at the way the league set it up for Lerner.
"I'm not sure yet what the process was," Davis said.
Lerner even had the endorsement of Mayor Michael White, apparently because
Lerner had supported the mayor when he was a young politician.
Former Browns Calvin Hill and Paul Warfield, who were members of the
Milstein group, complained that minorities weren't being given much
consideration in the process.
White, who is black, said, "We are focused on minority involvement in the
entire stadium operation. Those conversations are ongoing and I feel confident
we're going to yield significant results in that area."
When Lerner was asked if he expected to have a good rivalry with the
Ravens, he said, "I think that's a reasonable prediction."
Facts about Alfred Lerner, 65, named owner of the Cleveland Browns
Got his start in business in Baltimore, selling furniture for $75 a week.
Amassed much of his wealth in Baltimore, first in real estate, then in
Ran Maryland National Bank before selling it to NationsBank.
Chairman and chief executive of MBNA Corp., nation's second-largest credit
Chairman of Town & Country Trust, a Baltimore real estate firm.
Owned 9 percent of the Browns at the time they moved to Baltimore.
One of the prospective owners of a Baltimore NFL expansion team.
In 1996, ranked by Fortune as one of America's leading lTC
philanthropists, with gifts totaling $27 million.
With Modell's endorsement, Lerner awarded Browns
Ravens owner pushed for a unanimous vote for former friend, partner
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