Greatest moments in Cleveland Browns history: 1. Return to the NFL
Following the 1995 season, the Cleveland Browns were no more. Art Modell, who owned the team at the time, was unsuccessful for years in trying to get the city to pay for a new stadium and ended up leaving for Baltimore. After some legal battles, Modell and his new team — the Ravens — were allowed to move but the name and team history stayed with the city.
That was the right thing to do as there’s so much football history in the city of Cleveland, and the fans deserved to have their team they were so passionate about. Those very fans were awarded as they pled with Paul Tagliabue, the NFL commissioner at the time, not to allow such a historic franchise to move.
While the move did happen, we all know that the Browns came back. After three seasons without football, Cleveland had a franchise again in 1999 as the expansion Browns began play in the AFC North — a division that also features the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals.
They were awarded the No. 1 overall pick and had to start from scratch via an expansion, but football was back in Cleveland. And despite their failures to field a successful team since their return, the Browns remain one of the most beloved teams in the NFL.