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An unspoken, but understood progression within the Ravens organization has been that when General Manager Ozzie Newsome decides to call it quits, Eric DeCosta will step into the role.
It’s no longer just an implicit understanding.
Owner Steve Bisciotti could not have been more clear when he addressed the topic at the NFL owners meetings this week.
“I think everybody in the organization views Eric as Ozzie’s successor and we’re doing everything we can to make that transition work,” Bisciotti said.
DeCosta, the Ravens Director of Player Personnel, has been a popular name around the NFL the last few years and is often brought up as a potential candidate whenever a new general manager position opens.
Earlier this year, the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams were all reportedly interested in talking with DeCosta about their G.M. openings, but he chose to remain with the Ravens and the team worked out a new contract to ideally keep him Baltimore for at least the next few years.
Newsome, 55, has been the team’s general manager since 2002, but he has not expressed interest in retiring anytime soon.
“I don’t know how much longer,” Newsome said last month. “I want Super Bowls. Steve and I talk about two Super Bowls and three Super Bowls. Once I get to that point, I’ll start deciding.”
Decosta has been with the organization since its inception in 1996, working his way up from an entry-level scout to his current position, which he took on in 2009. During his tenure as scouting director, the Ravens have taken players such as Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ray Rice and Joe Flacco.
DeCosta works extremely close with Newsome, and Bisciotti joked that he doesn’t want to even think about both of them being gone.
“I certainly don’t want to entertain the thought of being without any one of them,” Bisciotti said. “So if Eric leaves before Ozzie is ready, then Ozzie is staying on until he’s 80.”