As president of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, Dick Cass ’68 maintains a relatively low public profile. But his role behind the scenes is enormous. Coach John Harbaugh told The Washington Post last year that Cass “ties everything together” — from offseason acquisitions to the game-day schedule.
Cass, a former D.C. lawyer who joined the Ravens in 2004, got his start in the NFL when he represented Jerry Jones during his acquisition of the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Ten years later, he was involved in two franchise transactions closer to home: the sale of the Washington Redskins to Daniel Snyder (he represented the estate of former owner Jack Kent Cooke), and Steve Biscotti’s purchase of 49-percent share of the Ravens. When Biscotti eventually became the majority owner, he hired Cass fulltime.
The Ravens, vying for their first Super Bowl title in Cass’ tenure, have had an eventful year that included a 10-6 record in the regular season, a remarkable playoff run that included two wins on the road, and early in the season, a brief public mention for the behind-the-scenes president: When linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo expressed his support for marriage equality, a Maryland legislator asked the team to reprimand the player. But Biscotti and Cass stood by Ayanbadejo, encouraging him to speak his mind.
Cass played freshman football and rugby at Princeton, majored in the Woodrow Wilson School, and later attended law school at Yale. He also served as one of Princeton’s first young alumni trustees.
Last year, Cass told the Baltimore Business Journal that an NFL franchise is different than most businesses because of the public scrutiny it endures and the community pride it can inspire. NFL teams also have a different set of goals, he said, with an explanation that should be music to fans’ ears:
“We don’t run the Ravens to maximize profit,” Cass said. “We run the Ravens to win football games.”
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