Friday marks the end of an era for the Baltimore Ravens as Ozzie Newsome officially hands his duties as General Manger over to Eric DeCosta.
The plan, which was announced at the start of the 2018 offseason, is a plan that's been in place for several years and the organization has repeatedly enforced that Newsome will remain with the team in a "significant role."
After a 13-year career with the Cleveland Browns as a tight end that included three Pro Bowls, 662 receptions for 7,980 yard, 47 touchdowns and a Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement, Newsome joined the Browns' front office in 1991. When the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996, Newsome came with and was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel.
In the Ravens' first-ever draft, Newsome selected tackle Jonathan Ogden and linebacker Ray Lewis. The two would go on to have 24 combined Pro Bowl's and be enshrined in the the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility.
Newsome was then promoted to General Manager in 2002 making him the NFL's first African American General Manager.
In 22 years with the Ravens, 'The Wizard of Oz' has constructed two Super Bowl winning teams, has selected 24 players in the first round that have earned 60 combined Pro Bowls, two Super Bowl MVPs and 21 homegrown Ravens pro bowl players.
After the team's Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns that earned them a postseason appearance for the first time in three seasons, head coach John Harbaugh awarded the GM the game ball for his final regular season win.
The impact Newsome has had on the franchise can not be overlooked. Without a doubt, the Ravens wouldn't have had the amount of success they've had in such a short amount of time without him. And while he'll no longer be leading the Ravens in the draft room, his presences will certainly continue to have an effect on the organization and their future.
Now General Manager Eric DeCosta joined the Ravens in their inaugural year as a scouting intern before being hired as an area scout in 1997 and promoted to Director of College Scouting in 2003 and then Director of Player Personnel in 2009. Working under Newsome as the team's assistant GM since 2012, the 47-year-old credits Newsome for more than just lessons on football.
“Ozzie has taught me a lot about football,” DeCosta said in back in April, “but more about life.”
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