Former Ravens owner Art Modell could be among 15 people added to the Pro Football Hall of Fame next week.
A blue-ribbon panel met in Canton, Ohio yesterday to select a special Centennial Slate for the Class of 2020 that will be revealed on "Good Morning Football" on NFL Network, Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 a.m.
The Centennial Slate, in honor of the NFL's 100th season, will consist of 15 members – 10 seniors who played more than 25 seasons ago, three contributors and two coaches.
Modell, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 87, was one of 38 finalists as a contributor. He was the Ravens' original owner and he also owned the Cleveland Browns for 35 years.
Modell was the Ravens' owner when the team won its first Super Bowl (XXXV) following the 2000 season. He was also an influential negotiator involved with the league's television contracts for decades, helping the NFL grow immensely in popularity. He helped negotiate the first Monday Night Football contract in 1970 and worked with former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to establish NFL Films.
The group of contributors and coaches nominated for the Centennial Slate also includes former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher, former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins Head Coach Jimmy Johnson, former NFL Films president Steve Sabol, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and former players Cliff Branch, Roger Craig, and Drew Pearson.
Ravens Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome was part of the 25-member blue-ribbon panel that deliberated for more than 10 hours to determine the Centennial Slate inductees. Newsome, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was honored to be included in the process.
Other panelists included New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, Hall of Fame contributor Gil Brandt, Hall of Fame coach John Madden, Hall of Fame contributor Bill Polian and many more.
"This is probably one of the greater experiences I've had in my life," Newsome told the Canton Repository. "To be a part of the process, part of the calls that we had before, and then sitting through 10 hours of meetings today. Awfully interesting. It's the centennial class which makes it special. One hundred years of football which started right here in Canton. So I think it's appropriate that they do it."