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Giants and Browns Swing Major Trade

Mar. 4, 1964 - The New York Giants traded Dick Modzelewski to the Cleveland Browns today for Bobby Crespino. Modzelewski (pictured right with Andy Robustelli) is a defensive tackle; Crespino is a pass-catching tight end.

With the transaction, Jim Katcavage became the only remaining member of the defensive quartet that led the Giants to five Eastern Conference championships in the NFL between 1956 and 1962. The other two members were Roosevelt Grier, a 6-5, 290-pound tackle, who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams last July, and Andy Robustelli, a 6-1, 235-pound end and assistant coach who decided recently to devote his full time to coaching.

Modzelewski had indicated that he might retire. But he said in Cleveland last night that he would play with the Browns next season.

“I was shocked when I first got word that I was being traded,” he said. “I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to play again. But I talked it over with my wife and brother, and I decided I still had three or four good playing years left.”

Said Giant coach Allie Sherman: “This is no indication that we are making over the Giants. Players get older. Changes are necessary to keep pace with mounting competition. We traded Grier because we felt he might be losing his enthusiasm and a change of scenery might do him good. Modzelewski is 32 and is a veteran of 11 years in the league. Players have to go sometime. We were sorry to lose Robustelli, who is 36, but happy to have him remain as a coach.”

With Robustelli, Katcavage, Modzelewski, and Grier, the Giants won Eastern titles in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, and 1962. In 1956, they walloped the Chicago Bears, 47-7, for the league championship.

During their period together, Robustelli, Modzelewski, and Grier were never sidelined by injury. Katcavage was out for four games in 1960 with a shoulder separation. The four became so formidable on defense that they were nicknamed the “Fearsome Foursome.”


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