Andy Lyons, Getty Images
March 20, 2006
"Art Modell made extraordinary contributions to the National Football League during his decades as an NFL owner. When he stepped away from operating the Baltimore Ravens in 2004, his 43 seasons in the league represented more than half of the NFL's history. Art contributed to the NFL's growth and success through the performance of his teams, his recognition of the unique place our sport has in American life, his active participation in the league's governance, and his support of civic and community organizations. He was a trusted advisor to both Commissioner Rozelle and me during our time in office. His wisdom, knowledge and wit kept both of us grounded in the toughest of circumstances. My deepest sympathies to David, John and the entire Modell family on their loss." -- Paul Tagliabue
Doug Dieken, the longest-tenured player in Browns' history
"The thing that always stands out for me when I think of Art is his sense of humor. He liked to laugh. We'd be angry at each other while negotiating a contract, would have our battles, and he would still find a way to bring humor into it. Art was the last millionaire in what has become a billionaire business, and he tried to make it work. He treated players fairly, and you knew he was in your corner. He was what I would call a 'players' owner.'
"I think the players today making so much money should thank Art for his contributions to their pockets. His work with generating more money through TV is a big part of the paychecks today. He was a real competitor. It hurt him to lose, and he'd wear it on his sleeve, just like he would the wins. He did all he could to make us winners.
"I think what he did when he left Cleveland was not right, but there were others here who were wrong, too. It's a shame that one decision hurt how some people think of him, because he did so much good. He gave people chances, and he helped a lot of people get a better life. He always looked out for the underdog and the underprivileged." -- Doug Dieken