One of the liveliest debates this weekend in New Orleans could be not about the Super Bowl itself, but on whether late Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of fame.
In Cleveland, many fans haven't forgiven Modell for deciding to relocate his Browns franchise to Baltimore 17 years ago. But his supporters contend he helped create America's most popular sport.
Modell will be considered for enshrinement along with coach Bill Parcells, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., single-season sacks leader Michael Strahan, offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, running back Jerome Bettis, wide receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, defensive standouts Charles Haley and Kevin Greene, guard Will Shields and defensive back Aeneas Williams.
Also up for consideration, two senior nominees: defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson.
Voters will select between four and seven new members.
The Ravens' unexpected run to the championship game has been, in part, fueled by the team dedicating its season to Modell. Baltimore's players have worn patches with ``Art'' on their jerseys to honor Modell, who died on Sept. 6, just four days ahead of the opener.
- Tom Withers -http://twitter.com/twithersAP
EDITOR'S NOTE - ``Super Bowl Watch'' shows you the Super Bowl and the events surrounding the game through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across New Orleans and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.
If you want to sign Dez Bryant in 2018, it will have to be on a one-year deal.
The 29 year-old wide receiver turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of finding a one-year deal that enables him to test the open market again in 2019, Ed Werder of The Doomsday Podcast first reported.
Bryant - who finished 2017 with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns - is predicating a bounce back season in 2018 with hopes of a big money, long-term contract in 2019.
The offer was similar to that of Michael Crabtree's three-year, $21 million deal, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The Ravens had to offer Bryant a multi-year deal in order to fit his number under the salary cap.
Since turning down their offer, the Ravens signed former Saints WR Willie Snead to a two-year, $10.4 million contract.
Bryant will now have to wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to work out a deal with an organization, if one is still searching for a wide receiver going in to the tail end of his career.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Receiver Willie Snead has bid farewell to the Saints, which means New Orleans apparently won't match the contract the Baltimore Ravens offered the restricted free agent.
Eager to add a target for quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens on Friday offered Snead a two-year, $10.4 million contract. The Saints had five days to match the deal. Snead indicated Monday on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans.
Snead tweeted: "What I'm going to miss most is the men in the locker room & the coaches."
He added: "Even though I'm sad to go, I'm even more excited for the next chapter in my life. I can't wait to strap it on as a Baltimore Raven."
Hampered by a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Snead was limited to eight catches for 92 yards last year.
In 2015, he had 69 receptions for 984 yards. He caught 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016.