- 1996 - 1999
The Browns’ origins date to 1944 when taxicab magnate Arthur B. “Mickey” McBride secured the rights to a Cleveland franchise in the newly formed All-America Football Conference. The AAFC was to compete with the dominant National Football League once it began operations at the end of World War II, which had forced many professional teams to curtail activity, merge or ...
Art Modell, a 35-year-old advertising executive from Brooklyn, purchased the team in 1961 from a group of shareholders led by National Insurance Company. The beginnings of a power struggle between Paul Brown and Art Modell took their toll. Journalist D.L. Stewart recounted in Jeff Miller’s book on the AFL, Going Long, “As you well can imagine, Jimmy Brown and Paul ...
Modell announced on November 6, 1995, that he had signed a deal to relocate the Browns to Baltimore in 1996 a move which would return the NFL to Baltimore for the first time since the Colts relocated to Indianapolis after the 1983 season. The very next day, on November 7, 1995, Cleveland voters overwhelmingly approved an issue that had been ...
In February 1996, the NFL announced that the Browns would be ‘deactivated’ for three years and that a new stadium would be built for a new Browns team, as either an expansion team or a team moved from another city, that would begin to play in 1999. Modell would in turn be granted a new franchise, the NFL’s 31st, for ...
Cleveland returned to the NFL in 1999 with high hopes and expectations, featuring deep-pocketed ownership in Al Lerner. When his father, Al Lerner, died in October 2002 – four years to the day after he was awarded the new Browns franchise – the ownership of the team passed on to Randy Lerner. Randy Lerner served as a member of the ...
In July 2012, owner Randy Lerner announced that he planned to sell the Browns to businessman Jimmy Haslam. The sale was finalized on August 2, 2012, in excess of $1 Billion (USD). Haslam officially was approved as the new owner on October 16, 2012, at the NFL owners’ meetings, and the very next day former Eagles president Joe Banner was ...
History of the Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team based in Cleveland. Named after original coach and co-founder Paul Brown, they compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division. The Browns play their home games at FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999, with administrative offices and training facilities in Berea, Ohio. The Browns' official club colors are brown, orange, and white. They are unique among the 32-member franchises of the NFL in that they do not have a logo on their helmets.
The franchise was founded in 1945 by Brown and businessman Arthur B. McBride as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns dominated the AAFC, compiling a 47–4–3 record in the league's four seasons and winning its championship in each. When the AAFC folded after the 1949 season, the Browns joined the NFL along with the San Francisco 49ers and the original Baltimore Colts. The Browns won a championship in their inaugural NFL season, as well as in 1954, 1955, and 1964 seasons, and in a feat unequaled in any of the North American major professional sports, played in their league championship game in each of their first 10 years of existence, winning seven of those games. From 1965 to 1995, they qualified to play in the NFL playoffs 14 times but did not win another championship or play in the Super Bowl during that period.
1950 - Present / National Football League
1946 - 1949 / All-America Football Conference
1946 - Present / Cleveland Browns
Browns - There’s some debate about whether Cleveland’s professional football franchise was named after its first coach and general manager, Paul Brown, or after boxer Joe Louis, who was nicknamed the “Brown Bomber.” Team owner Mickey McBride conducted a fan contest in 1945 and the most popular submission was Browns. According to one version of the story, Paul Brown vetoed the nickname and chose Panthers instead, but a local businessman informed the team that he owned the rights to the name Cleveland Panthers. Brown ultimately agreed to the use of his name and Browns stuck.
Super Bowl 0
NFL Championships 4
1964, 1955, 1954, 1950
All-America Football Conference Championships 4
1949, 1948, 1947, 1946
2013 - Present / FirstEnergy Stadium
1999 - 2013 / Cleveland Browns Stadium
1946 - 1995 / Cleveland Municipal Stadium
2012 - Present / Jimmy Haslam
2002 - 2012 / Randy Lerner
1998 - 2002 / Al Lerner
1996 - 1998 / Cleveland Browns Trust (Operations suspended)
1961 - 1995 / Art Modell
1953 - 1961 / David Jones
1946 - 1953 / Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
14 / Otto Graham
32 / Jim Brown
45 / Ernie Davis
46 / Don Fleming
76 / Lou Groza
*Blue is this team’s history