Modell willing to move Ravens to NFC in 2002

Friday, October 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell is willing to have his team switch conferences when the new Houston franchise joins the NFL for the 2002 season.

``I think going into the National Football Conference would sort of be a homecoming for me, and I would enjoy it very much,'' Modell said, The (Baltimore) Sun reported Friday.

``We have no solid, entrenched rivalries, or traditional teams we play. I don't mind moving because we can start a new relationship, if it'll help matters any.''

Modell owned the former Cleveland Browns in 1970 when that team, along with Pittsburgh and the former Baltimore Colts, moved from the NFC to the AFC in a post-merger realignment.

After the 1995 season, the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens.

Modell envisions the Ravens playing in the NFC East with nearby Washington, the New York Giants and Philadelphia. Dallas and Arizona are also in that division.

``Geographically, we belong in the East,'' Modell said.

But there could be television conflicts with the Washington Redskins.

Moving to the AFC East is less likely, Modell said, because the teams in that division are less willing to change.

The NFL will switch from six divisions to eight four-team divisions in 2002. Modell thinks Houston will join the AFC, forcing one team to move to the NFC.