Ozzie Newsome on Art Modell

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is concerned that Art Modell won't be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame until after the former Ravens and Cleveland Browns majority owner is dead.

"I don't know what we can do," Newsome said tonight during a conference call with season ticket holders. "My biggest fear is once he passes away then he'll get the opportunity to go in. I don't think that's fair."

Modell has been a controversial Hall of Fame candidate since moving the original Browns to Baltimore in February of 1996, making him an extremely unpopular figure with Cleveland fans. Modell suffered a mild stroke and a mild heart attack nine years ago. After moving the franchise to Maryland, he eventually sold majority interest of the Ravens to Maryland businessman Steve Bisciotti.

Modell retains a one-percent ownership and has an office at the Ravens' training complex. There's a large painting of Modell in the lobby of team headquarters located above the Ravens' lone Vince Lombardi trophy.

Modell hasn't been a finalist for the Hall of Fame in a decade. He didn't make the cut to the finalists again this year. "He deserves to be in there," said Newsome, a Hall of Fame tight end with the Browns who was inducted in 1999. "He deserves to go in before I did."

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