Ravens: Top 30 Moments in Team History

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Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of Baltimore Ravens helmet on the sidelines against the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens defeated the Falcons 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 9, 1996 – The NFL approves the Cleveland Browns move to Baltimore for the 1996 season, returning football to Baltimore after the Colts left in 1984.

Carlos Avent:

The 4,332 day drought of no NFL football team in Baltimore finally came to a halt when the league approved the move of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Baltimore rejoiced before even knowing what the name of the team would be, what the colors would look like, or even who would be on the team.

The move, of course, was not without controversy. Then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue insisted on derailing franchises from landing in Baltimore, even going as far as to convince owners to start franchises in North Carolina and Jacksonville over Baltimore.

Eventually, Tagliabue would approve the move of Art Modell’s Browns to Baltimore via relocation, and not as an expansion. Players under contract were allowed to make the decision to move with Modell to Baltimore, or enter free agency ahead of the 1996 season.

19 players decided to come to Baltimore, including Vinny Testaverde, Michael Jackson, and Matt Stover. Cleveland Browns legend, Hall of Famer, and front office executive Ozzie Newsome also made the move.

The original assumption is that the Browns would move to Baltimore and become the Baltimore Browns. But being the classy and noble man that Art Modell was, he agreed to leave the name, colors, history, and legacy of the Browns in the city of Cleveland and move to Baltimore starting from scratch.

Thus, the Ravens were born. Or at least a team who would later be called the Ravens, after a series of fan polls were conducted to determine the team’s name.

Next: Ravens pull off one of the greatest drafts in history