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NFL says Rooney Rule allows Ravens to promote Eric DeCosta without interviews

The Ravens have announced that General Manager Ozzie Newsome will step aside after the 2018 season, and the team’s longtime No. 2 personnel man Eric DeCosta will take Newsome’s place. The Ravens will not conduct any interviews, which might sound like a violation of the Rooney Rule.

But the league tells PFT that the Ravens are permitted, under the Rooney Rule, to promote DeCosta without first interviewing a minority candidate.

According to the NFL, part of the Rooney Rule stipulates that teams can make a promotion of a personnel executive to the top job without conducting any interviews, if the executive has already been labeled as the G.M. in waiting.

So although the Rooney Rule is advertised as requiring every team to interview a minority candidate for every vacancy for head coaches or general managers, the case of the Ravens hiring DeCosta is an exception.

The NFL has faced scrutiny in recent months after the Browns hired a new G.M. and the Raiders hired a new head coach, and in both cases the teams appeared to conduct interviews with minority candidates solely to satisfy the requirements of the Rooney Rule, and not because they were genuinely considering those candidates for the job. In the case of the Ravens moving from Newsome to DeCosta, there will be no need for such interviews.