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Ozzie Newsome no longer in charge, but still a factor

Joanthan Ogden Retirement

OWINGS MILLS, MD - JUNE 12: Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens general manager during Jonathan Ogden retirement press conference at Ravens training facility on June 12, 2008 in Owings Mills, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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Ozzie Newsome may no longer be calling all the shots for the Ravens, but he’s still very much part of the Ravens.

Via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta said the 63-year-old Newsome is still very involved in the pre-draft process, even though DeCosta’s sitting in his old office and he doesn’t even have an official title.

I think he’s really enjoying it,” DeCosta said. “He’s grinding tape. He had a great time at the combine. He’s really been a valuable resource for me in terms of discussing players and what do you see. I think he’s really having fun with it.”

It’s unclear how much input Newsome will actually have on draft weekend, but he has maintained a presence in the front office. He closed the Earl Thomas deal in free agency because of his long-term relationship with the agent, and that’s the kind of expertise Baltimore would be foolish to not use.

But it’s still DeCosta’s ship to steer, and while that could be awkward in some cases, the Ravens see it as only a positive.

“In the end, though, it will be Eric’s call, and that’s good,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I think Eric has had a huge impact on the draft up until now. He’s been a big part of it. Ozzie’s and his relationship is very unique, very special.”

And because they still communicate so easily and so well, DeCosta has a trusted aide with him when it’s time to make the call.