Assuming control of the Browns franchise in 1961, Modell was a key figure in helping promote the NFL and was initially popular in Cleveland for his active role in the community and his efforts to improve the team. However, he made controversial actions during his ownership, which included the firing of Paul Brown, the franchise's first coach and namesake. In 1995, Modell faced widespread scorn in Cleveland when he attempted to relocate the Browns to Baltimore. While the Browns were ultimately able to remain in Cleveland, Modell was allowed to retain the contracts of all Browns personnel, who formed the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. Modell's impact on the Browns franchise remains controversial due to the Browns' consistent struggles since returning to the league as an expansion team in 1999 and the success of the Ravens.
This Riddell NFL Shield mini helmet was signed in blue by Modell and includes a JSA sticker and COA.