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Ozzie Newsome: “I still will be a very big part” of Ravens

Even though his run as Ravens General Manager will end after the coming season, Ozzie Newsome said he wasn’t going far.

Owner Steve Bisciotti told reporters Friday that this will be Newsome’s last year and that longtime assistant Eric DeCosta was taking over in 2019, with Newsome transitioning to a consultant role.

“I don’t know what my title will be, but I still will be a very big part of the organization. I’ll be in the building and working with the team every day as usual,” Newsome told the Baltimore Sun. “This is all part of a five-year plan that I worked out with the owner near the end of my contract. Eric will have the title of general manager, which is part of the transition, but there will be very little change. Right now, my focus is on getting ready for the draft, the combine and free agency.”

Bisciotti said that after the 2013 season, Newsome (who turns 62 in March) was given a five-year contract extension which was designed to be his last, and establish the bridge of DeCosta, who has turned away all other chances to interview for G.M. jobs.

A Hall of Fame tight end as a player, Newsome has has been the G.M. since 2002. As the Sun noted, 11 of his 22 first-round picks ended up making at least one Pro Bowl, and they won two Super Bowls. But their traditional success in the draft hasn’t been matched in recent years (and they’ve missed the playoffs four of the last five years), and they’ve missed on some high picks.

But his legacy will be intact with a pair of Super Bowl rings, as well as being the league’s first minority General Manager.