Art Modell, the longtime NFL stalwart who incurred the wrath of Cleveland fans when he moved the team from Ohio, died early Thursday. He was 87.
David Modell said he and his brother, John, were at their father's side in Baltimore when he "died peacefully of natural causes."
Modell was among the most important figures in the NFL as owner of the Cleveland Browns and a league insider. During his four decades as a team owner, he helped negotiate the NFL's lucrative contracts with television networks, served as president of the NFL from 1967-69, 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.
Modell, though, made one decision that hounded him the rest of his life. He moved the Cleveland franchise to Baltimore in 1996, and Ohio fans never forgave him for it.
"It's a shame that one decision hurt how some people think of him, because he did so much good," said Doug Dieken, a Browns offensive lineman for 14 years.
The move was believed to be the main reason why Modell never made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Ravens won their lone Super Bowl in January 2001, less than a year after Modell sold a minority interest of the team to Steve Bisciotti. In April 2004, Bisciotti completed purchase of the franchise but left Modell a 1 percent share.
"Art Modell's leadership was an important part of the NFL's success during the league's explosive growth during the 1960s and beyond," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Art was a visionary."
Vikings: Running back Adrian Peterson, recovering from a surgically repaired left knee, said he has "somewhat" of a gut feeling about whether Minnesota will let him suit up for Sunday's game against Jacksonville. Peterson didn't specify whether he's expecting to play and knows the decision is out of his hands. "I'm below; I got coach (Leslie) Frazier, then I've got the owner, there's a lot of people that's really calling the shots," Peterson said. Frazier has said Peterson's participation won't be determined until right before the game.
Bills: Wide receiver Stevie Johnson says he expects to play Sunday against the New York Jets despite a groin injury. "I'll do everything I've got to do in the training room to be out there," he said.
Chiefs: Safety Kendrick Lewis is expected to miss Sunday's game against Atlanta with a shoulder injury, and cornerback Brandon Flowers (heel) has been limited in practice, while his backup -- Jalil Brown -- is dealing with a groin injury.
Cardinals: Arizona and inside linebacker Daryl Washington agreed on a six-year contract. A second-round draft pick out of TCU in 2010, Washington led the team in tackles last season with 111. Terms weren't disclosed, but the deal contains guaranteed money, a pay raise over the next two seasons with a team option bonus in 2014.
Etc.: The New York Jets are tops in the NFL -- in average ticket prices. Team Marketing Report released its Fan Cost Index, with the Jets having the highest average for non-premium tickets at $117.94. They beat out the New England Patriots, by 10 cents. The Cleveland Browns have the lowest average per ticket at $54.20.