The Baltimore Ravens are technically and legally an expansion team founded in 1995 by then-owner of the Cleveland Browns, Art Modell. The NFL and the city of Cleveland resisted the move of the Browns, instead considering the team an expansion team and leaving the team name, logos and official history in Cleveland to be given to a replacement team that would start in 1999.
The Ravens had a difficult start, finishing their debut season with a 4-12 record, followed with a 6-9-1 record in 1997 and a 6-10 record in 1998.
The team began a massive improvement in 1999, reinvigorated with new talent including QB Tony Banks and receiver Qadry Ismail. The Ravens finished the season 8-8. In 2000, the Baltimore Ravens finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and went on to win their first SuperBowl.