Thousands of family and friends turned out Tuesday in Baltimore for the funeral of former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell, including current and former players, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
An important figure in the development of the league, Modell also was one of the NFL’s most polarizing owners. Cleveland fans never forgave him for moving his club to Baltimore for financial reasons after the 1995 season, but Ravens fans were fond of him, and Modell also was remembered as a loving family man on Tuesday.
Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata and Torrey Smith were among current Ravens players who attended the service at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Former Ravens players Michael McCrary, Peter Boulware and Rob Burnett also went to pay their respects.
“He contributed so much to the NFL,” Goodell said. “He was obviously a close adviser to [former NFL commissioner] Pete Rozelle. He was a big part of NFL history. He played a big role in the NFL and the NFL is going to miss him.”
Lewis, Baltimore’s second pick in the 1996 draft after Modell moved the franchise, gave a eulogy filled with emotion.
“Rest in peace ‘Pop Art,”’ he said.
Goodell and Modell’s sons, John Modell and David Modell, also spoke during the service. John Modell followed his speech by performing a song he wrote on the guitar for his father in 1998, when the Ravens built their facility, which is now known as M&T Bank Stadium.
Harrison may get to play
Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison worked out on Monday and coach Mike Tomlin says there’s a chance the four-time Pro Bowler from Kent State University could play in Sunday’s home opener against the New York Jets.
Harrison sat out the entire preseason while nursing a left knee injury. He underwent a minor procedure on the knee last month and didn’t play in a 31-19 season-opening loss at Denver.
Tomlin says Tuesday the team will monitor Harrison’s progress throughout the week. The Steelers do expect to have safety Ryan Clark back.
Clark sat out the Broncos game as a precaution due to a sickle cell trait that makes it dangerous for him to exert himself at a high altitude.
Pittsburgh expects to have starting right guard Ramon Foster and starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert for the Jets. Both players left the opener with minor injuries.
Around the league
Oakland Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford will undergo surgery on his injured left foot. … Former Pro Bowl center Dan Koppen, who spent nine seasons snapping the ball to Tom Brady in New England, will have the chance to work with Peyton Manning. Koppen signed with the Denver Broncos, two weeks after the Patriots released him. … The Washington Redskins signed long snapper Justin Snow to replace Nick Sundberg, who broke his arm and was put on injured reserve. … Indianapolis signed offensive tackle Bradley Sowell from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad. … The Oakland Raiders finalized a multiyear contract extension with fullback Marcel Reece. …The Buffalo Bills signed running back Johnny White to the 53-man roster. … The Kansas City Chiefs waived linebacker Cameron Sheffield. … The New York Jets waived wide receiver Patrick Turner and signed linebacker Ricky Sapp.