"I think it's a testament to the kind of gentleman Art is, that in lieu of any personal reservations about staying in [with] Cleveland, he did what he felt was best for me and best for the Baltimore football fans as a whole," Bisciotti said.
"I was very proud of him for taking that position, because it would have been very easy for him to do what would've been more comfortable for himself."
Ozzie Newsome, Ravens vice president of player personnel and Hall of Fame tight end for the Browns, sounded equally happy that the team held onto its long-term rivalries.
"I feel more entrenched with these teams," Newsome said, "having been brought up in the AFC Central. These are the original teams, and I can reflect back in the late '70s and '80s when we were the top division in the league. I don't think there's a downside to this."
When the NFL realigns into eight divisions of four teams each for the 2002 season, here is how the new scheduling format will work for each team:
Six games against division rivals.
Four games against teams in another division within the conference.
Four games against teams in a division in the other conference.
Two games against teams in the same conference based on the previous year's standings. first against first, second against second, et cetera. Here is a hypothetical example of how the Ravens' 2002 schedule might look under the new format:
Two games each against AFC North rivals Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Four games against the teams in the AFC South: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee.
Four games against the teams in the NFC East: Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington.
One game each against the teams in the AFC East and AFC West that had the same division standing as the Ravens the previous year -- for example, Miami and Denver.