Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome to step down following the 2018 season

For the first time in 16 years, the Ravens will be making a change at general manager. Team owner Steve Bisciotti announced on Friday that Ozzie Newsome will be stepping down following the 2018 season. 

Newsome has been the Ravens' general manager since 2002 and has been with the team since the franchise's first year in 1996. Bisciotti also announced that assistant general manager Eric DeCosta will replace Newsome as the top guy in Baltimore's front office after the upcoming season.

"Ozzie will step down as GM and has assured me that he's not going anywhere and that he will work with me and work with Eric for a smooth transition," Bisciotti said. "He'll be the highest-paid scout in America when Eric takes over next year."

On Saturday morning, Newsome spoke more about his plans, both next season and beyond.

"I will remain as the Ravens' GM through the 2018 season and continue my role directing free agency and the draft," he said, via the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "After that, Eric will take over as our GM and assume all the duties that come with that, including heading our personnel department and directing free agency and the draft. I plan to remain with the Ravens in a significant position in personnel and help us win more Super Bowls. We have planned this succession over the last five years."

Apparently, Newsome has known for some time that he would be stepping down following the 2018 season. According to Bisciotti, the Ravens general manager signed a five-year extension after the 2013 season and both men agreed that DeCosta would get promoted to GM after Newsome's contract expired. 

"We talked after the [2013] season and it was about Eric," Bisciotti said. "Ozzie agreed to re-do his contract for a five-year extension."

Like Newsome, DeCosta has been with the Ravens since their first season in 1996. The 46-year-old started his career with the team with an entry-level job 22 years ago. Since then, DeCosta has slowly moved up the ranks. After serving as an area scout, DeCosta was promoted to director of college scouting (2003-08), director of player personnel (2009-11) and then finally to assistant general manager in 2012. 

As for Newsome, not only was he the architect of two Super Bowl teams in Baltimore (2000, 2012), but he also pulled off one of the most successful drafts in recent in NFL history. In the Ravens' first-ever draft back in 1996, Newsome decided to take both Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden, who ended up being cornerstone players for the new franchise. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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