Browns announce 16-person Ring of Honor

Last year, Browns coach Eric Mangini notoriously covered up a mural celebrating great players in franchise history.  This year, the Browns will immortalize 16 of them, via the creation of a Ring of Honor at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

The first class consists of the 16 Hall of Famers who played for the Browns.  They are:  running back Jim Brown, coach Paul Brown, offensive lineman Joe DeLamielleure, defensive lineman Len Ford, offensive lineman Frank Gatski, quarterback Otto Graham, offensive lineman/kicker Lou Groza, offensive lineman Gene Hickerson, running back Leroy Kelly, receiver Dante Lavelli, offensive lineman Mike McCormack, receiver/running back Bobby Mitchell, fullback Marion Motley, tight end Ozzie Newsome, receiver Paul Warfield, and offensive lineman Bill Willis.

The induction will occur at halftime of the team’s home opener, against the Chiefs on September 19. 

Jim Brown reportedly won’t attend the event, apparently due to hard feelings in the wake of the team’s decision to part ways with Brown, a former member of the franchise’s senior management, following the hiring of Mike Holmgren as team president.  Though Brown may be upset about the decision, it was the right move; too many former Browns players had too much influence over the team’s affairs — and Brown was simply too eager to share his opinions about team management with the media and the public.

So now the Browns are doing things the right way when it comes to former players.  Embrace them, welcome them, and don’t let them get their fingers anywhere close to steering wheel.

Unless, like Newsome, they put in the time and effort necessary to become scouts and, eventually, General Managers.

48 responses to “Browns announce 16-person Ring of Honor

  1. It would be appropriate to mention that Oz is the GM because Art Modell believed in him and hired him when there was NO ONE hiring black GM’s. But the Cleveland fans don’t want you to say this because to them and miscreants like Toni Grossi, Art couldn’t do any good if he tried.
    Art belongs in the Hall of Fame. The curse remains until Grossme stops railroading him out of his rightful place.
    Go ahead…. Start flaming…..

  2. Jim Brown is the greatest player in the history of the NFL, but they made the right move in keeping him and Bernie at arms length. Good teams don’t have former players giving their 2 cents every week.
    The one SOB that should be giving his opinion is too busy running the Ravens. We sure know how to keep good talent here in Cleveland…

  3. Wow, the Browns have had some top notch players over the years. It was interesting to hear some of those names from the past.

  4. “…..Unless, like Newsome, they put in the time and effort necessary to become scouts and, eventually, General Managers…..”
    In 14 seasons the Great God Ozzie Newsome has put together teams that won one Super Bowl and two Division Championships.
    I’m not saying he sucks but he is nowhere near deserving of his Jedi talent evaluator status.
    As with the Jets, the Ravens are crazily overhyped and will not make the playoffs this year.

  5. Yes the Browns are named after Paul Brown. Local business in the Cleveland area pushed thru the name change after votes were cast wanting the team named after Mr. Brown their coach. At first Paul Brown turned them down but then went along with it. Art Model fired Paul Brown and that’s why I have my Cincinnati Bengals, just because Art was a dink, and the Browns haven’t won a title since. Paul Brown basically started modern football. He invented Face Masks, Warm ups, Conditioning, Playbooks, Film Study, 40 yard dash, signed the first black player, used a headset radio for his quarterback. The NFL should be named Paul Brown Football, or PBF. PFT should really do an article on Paul Brown so people can understand how much of a genius he really was and what the NFL owes to the Brown family. I really hate the Browns and really love the Bengals. Common PFT give them a history lesson but please just the facts, don’t add your spin please.

  6. @bigd7387….think about the coaching tree that originated from paul amazing line of first rate talent.

  7. Its about time this franchise finally recognizes the past…you know, back when they actually won NFL titles.
    Maybe they can finally put a statue out front of either or of both Jim Brown and Otto Graham.

  8. ppdoc13
    You’re a complete moron. Art Modell will be rotting in hell before he’s elected to the HOF, as it should be.

  9. no, florio, brown has an appointment to beat up another woman, so he cant make the ceremony.
    the browns were a good team while brown was there. but they were much better before he got there. they really didnt drop off until after brown had been gone about 8 years. he wasnt the championship – bringer a lot of people seem to think he was. that other guy named brown was.
    about 5 of those 16 guys played during the “super bowl era”. it isnt very fair to knock them all for not bringing championships to clevelenad – a bunch of them actually did bring championships to cleveland. in the 50s primarily.
    but that franchise is really now the ravens.
    leroy kelly played from 64-73, across the early super bowl years. gene hickerson played from 58-73, same sb years (66-73). joe delamielleure played in cleveland from 80-84. paul warfield spent his championship years in miami between stints in cleveland 64-69 and 76-77. newsome was a brown from 78-90.
    from 66-73 the browns stars to be immortalized are a RB, OG and a WR who spent his championship years elsewhere. from 74 on, the browns stars to be immortalized are a TE and OG. that tells you what the browns were like before they moved.
    no kosar? or byner?

  10. Paul Brown also begat Mike Brown.
    The miser who decided the Bengals would have a “Virtual Hall of Fame”. ie; something on the teams website.
    After all a real ring of honor/hall of fame cost real money, and real money would lower Mikey’s GM bonus.
    Mikey announced this a few years ago.
    Guess what? A search of shows it still does not exist.
    Not even virtually.

  11. “In 14 seasons the Great God Ozzie Newsome has put together teams that won one Super Bowl and two Division Championships.”
    I’m not a Ravens fan, but come on. That team never rebuilds, it reloads. It’s always a threat to go all the way. This guy has done a great job in making sure this team is always near the top in the NFL. How many great teams have one or two good years, then go away? This team never goes away. There aren’t many teams that sustain such consistency in today’s NFL.
    You must think Peyton Manning is average because he’s only won one Super Bowl and that the Atlanta Braves run in the ’90s was so-so because they only won “one” World Series.

  12. “In 14 seasons the Great God Ozzie Newsome has put together teams that won one Super Bowl and two Division Championships.”
    I’m not a Ravens fan, but come on. That team never rebuilds, it reloads. It’s always a threat to go all the way. This guy has done a great job in making sure this team is always near the top in the NFL. How many great teams have one or two good years, then go away? This team never goes away. There aren’t many teams that sustain such consistency in today’s NFL.
    You must think Peyton Manning is average because he’s only won one Super Bowl and that the Atlanta Braves run in the ’90s was so-so because they only won one World Series.

  13. “Last year, Browns coach Eric Mangini notoriously covered up a mural celebrating great players in franchise history.”
    No he didn’t, he moved the mural to the front door of the building. Get your facts straight, please…

  14. bigd7387, I don’t know if he signed the first black dude, but I know he didn’t mind playing them wherever he saw fit!
    ppdoc13 – I am a black guy and I will say this, F*ck Art Modell and the horse he rode in on!
    He screwed the best fan base in the world! He made a deal with the Devil to get that super bowl in Baltimore and let me tell you this, as long as I am on gods green earth – I will assure that he NEVER SEES THE HALL OF FAME!!!!! NEVER!
    Too bit backstabbers should not go into the hall of fame! Art Modell is chump, a skank, a wanker, a punk and everthing else, but a child of god!
    To pull the Browns out of Cleveland, is like pulling the Yankee’s out of New York or the Dolphins out of Miami, or how about moving the Knicks out of New York!? Hey, why don’t Jerry Jones move th Cowboys out of Dallas!
    Thats what Art Modell did, he screwed the city and the fanbase, at least Lebron didn’t move the Cavaliers out of Cleveland, he just left!
    Maybe thats what Art Modell should have done! Sold the Browns to the Lerners in the first place and established the Ravens as an expansion franchise in Baltimore instead!
    Nope, they got they blood, the sweat and the tears of our Labors, OUR LABORS as a dedicated fan base!

  15. In 14 seasons Oz has won a SB, two division championships and his team has been in the playoff numerous times. How many other teams in the NFL with the exceptions of the Squealer, Pats, Iggles and Colts can say that.
    Wake up.

  16. @jj jones says:
    August 26, 2010 3:04 PM
    The Colts Ring of Honor has Jim Harbaugh and Billy Brooks. LOL
    Ha!!!! Your ring of honor has a brown stripe that won’t flush away.

  17. no kosar? or byner?
    The Browns are only focusing on HOFer’s for this 1st go around of the Ring of Honor.

  18. @ppdoc13 – You certainly have a point. Art did a lot of good for the game, however he did something so egregious that he essentially negated all the good that he accomplished. Think of him as football’s version of Pete Rose.
    @HereThere – I couldn’t have said it any better. Ozzie was my favorite player growing up. He’s the enemy now, but you can’t deny that the Ravens have been a model NFL franchise under his reign.

  19. “Nichiren says:
    August 26, 2010 3:10 PM
    BigD7387: Browns won a championship in 1964, AFTER Paul Brown was fired in 1963”
    You’re a GD idiot! The Browns won with the team Paul Brown built. It was also coached by Blanton Collier, Paul Brown’s right arm.
    That that was Paul Brown’s team until the talent started to move on and/or retire. Paul Brown did the work, and DON’T EVER FORGET THAT! Modell did JACK towards getting that championship! Modell was just a greedy businessman.
    Get it right or STFU!!!

  20. I’m sure all Ravens fans would be willing to trade Ernest Byner from their Ring of Honor in exchange for Ozzie.

  21. Nichiren says:
    August 26, 2010 3:10 PM
    BigD7387: Browns won a championship in 1964, AFTER Paul Brown was fired in 1963
    Yes, we know Paul Brown was fired in 1963…because of Modell’s ego.
    That is why the Browns were never able to rebuild after that. Look at the W-L record. The Browns never had a losing season until 1971 or so. Once Paul’s talent was gone, so were the wins.
    If Art Modell even gets close to the HoF, I will piss on his grave!

  22. I’ve been on the planet for 26 years and I’ve never seen a single HOFer play for the Browns. It really says something about the teams history that they’ve got 16 HOFers and I’ve never seen a single one put on cleats.
    It also says something about the teams recent history.

  23. @ Whodey08
    I appreciate that big time.
    As a man, Imean as a man how can you do something that just breaks the hearts of millions and can look yourself in the mirror and can honestly say, I did what I had to do?
    I would have sold the Browns, broke even and paid my debts off! If je would have done things my way, he would probably be in Canton right now.
    But what he did was out right dirty and scandolous. Just thinking about what Art Modell did, makes what Lebron James did minute! lol!!!
    Just thinking back to that day, December 16, 1995 – I was 18 years old and it was hard to hold back the tears

  24. I love the jackasses from Baltimore crying for Modell to enter the HOF.
    Do people from Indianapolis bug you idiots about getting the Irsays in the HOF??

  25. Jim Brown should be ahamed of himself for not showing up…he has acted like a spoiled child for years. There are a lot of Modell haters on here. I could be mistaken, but I thought a new stadium would have kept the team in town. Modell took the franchise to Baltimore but the city got to keep the name. In reality the Browns are an expansion team with a historical name. Great history and the fans deserved better but there are others to blame besides Art Modell

  26. @Duan
    To pull the Browns out of Cleveland is like pulling the Colts out of Baltimore… Cleveland got a team in three years. Why when Browns fans cry about this they never mention that Baltimore has a football tradition as well and it went to Indy? Manning breaking Unitas Colt records, what a joke! Don’t you think Marylanders would have liked to see the Ravens really be the Colts? Ravens are great for MD,but the tradition was stolen while Art allowed Cleveland to keep their history in tact. Sure Cleveland feels the same way about Art as MD feels about Irsay family,but it’s business. Art never hurt the shield he only enhanced it’s image. Too keep Art out of the HOF because the city of Cleveland and Browns fans object is ridiculous.

  27. georgeanderson
    You’re insanely wrong for a variety of reasons. When people compare the Browns with the Colts franchise, they’re losing sight of the point. Saying the Irsay family handled it worse is irrelevant entirely.
    The best way I can explain it is to look at a guy like Pete Rose. Pete Rose was one of the best 10 players to ever play baseball, no one will argue with that. With that being said, his actions after his playing career was over put a cloud over his accomplishments, and he (rightfully) has not been allowed into Cooperstown.
    Art Modell was a pioneer and will get in the Hall of Fame, after he dies. Taking a team from Cleveland is like if someone stole the Packers from Green Bay or the Bears from Chicago. WE took the tradition and the records back, Modell didn’t give them to us. We refused to allow ourselves to be his bitch.
    The NFL in Cleveland isn’t a business, it’s a way of life. How else can you explain the fact that we sell out every game even though we suck? That ain’t business.

  28. @georgeandreson
    If your going to comment on Art Modell please get the facts correct. He did not allow cleveland to keep the name and history. He was forced to leave the name and history as part of a lawsuit settlement brought by the city Of Cleveland.
    Also the fans in Cleveland fought to get a team back in Cleveland and would not settle for another cities team, we wanted an expansion team. Maybe if the Baltimore fans would have fought when the Colts left they would have had a team sooner and not rely on accepting a team the same way they lost one. Oh yeah while am on a roll guess who voted against Baltimore getting an expansion team? that’s right Art modell. I believe Carolina or Jacksonville got the team instead. Still Like Art?

  29. You can’t compare Pete Rose and his gambling to Art moving the franchise he is the owner of to another city.
    Maryland offered him a better deal for his business and he took it-this happens everyday in the business world. If it wasn’t the right thing to do,the other franchise owners would have blocked it. They did not because every city is on notice that they can lose their team. The fans mean nothing in all of this to any of the owners as much as you think they do. But the moment you don’t hand over your money, you mean nothing. Art moving his business was not illegal. And he did leave the history behind, it was his franchise, he had every right to take it to Baltimore,but he did not. Cities do not own franchise names,unless they have ownership stake.
    Pete bet on the game while he was the manager of a team. He altered outcomes of games for his financial gain. That was illegal,not just by baseball standards but federal laws. Pete, the baseball player, should be in the HOF.Pete,the manager, is forever disgraced.
    Every city has passionate fans who think the city revolves around their NFL team and that it is a way of life,but that is not reality. Some NFL cities have less options on gamedays. If Cleveland had 85 degree year round weather, you would see lots of empty seats when the Browns play the Lions or another bad football team. Browns have only made the playoffs once since coming back. It is not passion just less options. Who continually spends their money on a product that churns out the same results, people with nothing else to do.

  30. Thats correct, a settlement. He could have fought it, he did not and took his franchise to Baltimore.
    If Baltimore would have fought? Actually, the case to keep the team went to the US Supreme Court and a settlement was reached almost two years after the team snuck out in the middle of the night.
    As far as Art not voting for expanison to Baltimore, it turned out to be a smart move for him and his family. Some other guy would have made tons of money and he would have been stuck in Cleveland trying to get a stadium.

  31. @georgeanderson
    I guess you really do not know the facts because your comments don’t make sense. Art could not fight it he had no money and would have been forced to stay in Cleveland another year with no fans in attendance and no sponsorships. All the sponsors pulled out when he announced he was moving. The fans would not attend a lame duck team. So yes he was forced to leave the name and history, or had the City let it go it would have been the Baltimore Browns . Modell was not willing as you say to be kind and leave it on his own.
    I guess you think it’s wonderful that Modell made your city wait x amount of years longer for a team and you people in Baltimore accepted him with open arms for moving a franchise after Irsay did the same thing to Baltimore. Hipocrites.

  32. georgeanderson is absolutely clueless. first off, i am a steelers fan, so this isn’t a browns homer talking. A guy up above mentioned that any good modell did was offset by such an egregious act. that hits the nail on the head. george – you need to do some serious research on the history of pro football. It was born in NEO/Western PA. Cities in that region like Massillon, Canton, Youngstown, not to mention Clev and Pitts supported pro-football before the NFL even existed. Why do you think the hall of fame is in Canton? Beyond that, all levels of football are supported there. Why do you think so many coaches come from an area all within a 2 hour drive? Brown, Noll, Shula, Cowher, Tressel, Stoops, Meyer, Miles, Schembechler, and that’s just off the top of my head (apologies to the many I left off). Even Belichick is connected, his dad was from that area. That’s because football IS more important there from the time you can walk. How many other areas had 7th graders watching film . . .25 years ago? (Besides Texas and their $60M high school stadiums) Think about it, best Baltimore player ever – Unitas, from Pittsburgh. I have no doubt that individual fans in Baltimore or anywhere else care as much about their teams as Browns and Steelers fans do, but to suggest that football is as important to the region as a whole is just pure idiocy. That is why the Colts got away with moving the name and logo but the Browns didn’t. Dan Rooney has said the Rooneys feel like they hold the Steelers in trust for the city of Pittsburgh. So much for your it’s just business BS, that may be for everywhere else. As a Steelers fan I take pleasure in bad Brown’s teams, but I respect the fans there and understand the importance and meaning football has to the area there. I understand that despite the animosity, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and everywhere in between the two is basically the same. Only difference is Steelers fans got lucky to get the Rooneys and the Browns got the shaft by getting Modell. I hope Grossi keeps it up and keeps Modell out for good, not just until after he’s dead.

  33. Iam not from Baltimore,just a fan of the game. And you’re not taking the blinders off and stepping away objectionally.What did the move create?
    It gave a city in Baltimore, which has a great football history, a team after it was robbed of one and nobody did anything about it.
    It gave Cleveland a fresh start, under new ownership and a state of the art facility, while losing only three seasons.
    It helped other franchises get new stadiums built because owners used the Cleveland incident as leverage. This allowed the NFL to continue its advancement with greater revenue opportunities.
    The addition of teams has allowed for more players to enter the league that have made an impact on it’s history.
    There is a rich tradition of football in PA, no question. Though football and it’s origins are traced to the North East on the college level. It took many years for the pro game to catch on. It wasn’t just played in Ohio and PA. There are great minds who helped get the game to where it is today from that region,but other regions,coaches, players,etc. have advanced the game. The one who is considered the greatest,Lombardi, is a New Yorker. And Belichick grew up in Maryland.
    Sure it sucks that fans in all these cities are the ones who have emotional ties to these teams and some mega rich guy can do what he wants with these teams, but you can’t change that.
    Again, Modell hurt the feelings of one city with a football tradition while coming off like the bad guy, he did alot for the league. Why should a man be robbed of such a great honor in a sport he helped advance? If he is going in, let him enjoy it with his family and the other owners of the league. Should Al Davis not be let into the HOF with all that he has done? Bidwell ,even though that family helped grow the game in the Southwest? And it is nice that the Rooneys have said they feel that way.
    It ‘s never just a black and white answer to these issues, they are much bigger than anyone on these boards are awhere of.

  34. don’t create revisionist history and try to spin that into a positive. modell ripped the hearts out of place that has football in their blood. he had the luxury of packed stadiums for decades, win or lose, always amongst the leaders in supporters, merchandise sales, and local tv ratings. and yet somehow that scumbag managed to get himself broke. don’t overlook the fact that he did the exact same thing in Baltimore. He took the cash infusion and moved there as his way out of his own mess. Yet he mismanaged it again and found himself in another bind. This time he had to sell – that is what he should have done the first time. He owned the Browns but he didn’t build them – actually he did a pretty good job of buying a dominant team and making it worse over the course of 30 years, never to regain the standing they had when he bought them. even if he performed a lifetime of positives, it is not enough to overcome that disgraceful move. Say whatever you want, I’m done here, but any pro-Modell argument you make will never sway me (or millions of other people) so just save it. he could get into the HOF 30 years from now and people would still pack Canton that weekend to give him the worst reception you could possibly imagine for a HOFer. The HOF would be forced to either leave him out of the introduction or do it without a live audience.

  35. I don’t understand Browns fans obsession with Ozzie Newsome as a GM other than a “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality. The Ravens were a team without a functioning offense for almost a decade and much like the Browns, threw away good players for coaches pet projects. Also like the current Browns, the Ravens perfected the game of musical QB’s. They are also the orgainization that gave you guys (and regreted it) like Derek Anderson, Phil Savage, George Kokinas and Jamal Lewis, all of which Browns fans hated. In other words, the only reason Browns fans wish Ozzie Newsome ran the team is because he doesn’t. If he did, they’d be complaining still.

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