Ravens enter a new era as Ozzie Newsome will step down as GM after 2018 season

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/bal/" data-ylk="slk:Baltimore Ravens">Baltimore Ravens</a> head coach John Harbaugh, left, and general manager Ozzie Newsome at a practice last season. (AP)
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, left, and general manager Ozzie Newsome at a practice last season. (AP)

The Baltimore Ravens have been one of the NFL’s best franchises this century, and it’s arguable that the biggest factor in their sustained success is Ozzie Newsome.

Newsome, whose time with the Ravens predates the move from Cleveland to Baltimore, will step down as general manager after the 2018 season, owner Steve Bisciotti said Friday. Eric DeCosta, a longtime member of the Ravens front office who has gotten interest for many open general manager job through the years, will take over the 53-man roster.

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It’s a major shift for the Ravens, considering that Newsome and the Ravens are practically synonymous. Newsome was with the Browns from 1991-95, first as a scout and then as director of player personnel. He was invited to move with the Ravens to Baltimore when owner Art Modell offered him a job as vice president of player personnel. He became the Ravens general manager in 2002, becoming the first black general manager in the NFL.

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Newsome is one of the rare figures in NFL history who has a Pro Football Hall of Fame case in two separate jobs. He’s a Hall of Fame tight end, one of the best at the position for many years with the Browns. Given that he was an integral part of two Super Bowl championship teams with the Ravens and the major force behind two decades of mostly playoff-level football, he might have gotten consideration as a GM if he wasn’t in as a player.

The Ravens have had a ton of continuity through the years, and promoting DeCosta will help in that regard. But it will be a lot different in Baltimore without Newsome running the front office.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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