"While the City of Cleveland, Ohio agreed to improve Municipal Stadium, Modell issued a public moratorium on discussions relating to the stadium issue or the future of his franchise. It was during this time that Modell entered into secret discussions with the State of Maryland to move the franchise to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The announcement of the move occurred several days before the public referendum on the extension of the sin tax that would fund the improvements on Municipal Stadium as Modell had originally requested. But, Modell wrote a letter to Cleveland's mayor and Ohio's governor saying that the passing of the referendum may not be enough to keep the Browns. Modell also wanted that information to be made public. Plain Dealer Nov 7, 1995. Commentators have speculated that the timing of the announcement was to cause the referendum to go down in defeat and thus allow Modell to make the case that he was not receiving the public support he needed to remain viable in Cleveland. Nonetheless, the referendum was passed by a wide margin. Modell was assisted in the move by Alfred Lerner, who would go on to become the new owner of the reactivated Cleveland Browns franchise in 1998. Modell's move returned the NFL to Baltimore for the first time since the Colts left for Indianapolis after the 1983 season."
NFL fans should pee on his grave. The worst kind of owner. A guy who demands the community support him both fan base and financially. Cleveland does exactly that to the sum of one of the most loyal fan bases in the NFL. There reward was a quiet deal made behind closed doors to pack there loyalty and walk. Say hi to Edward Kenedy in hell you money grubbing bastard. I hope the flower at your funeral wilt. Just as the " Browns" SB trophy did after all thoese years of support.
Your assessment of the situation and chain of events there is correct. Modell, guilty as charged. For whatever reasons he truly had, he chose to move, then sell, or was forced to sell by the NFL Billionaire boys club. He could have sold to an owner locally and insisted on the team staying.. ( like Lerner just did). He would gotten out from under, made his money for his family just as much and saved the team from moving..etc.
It's still just a game at the end of the day, is my point.
"It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future."