Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome to step down after 2018

An extremely successful era for the Baltimore Ravens is coming to an end.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced Friday that long-time general manager Ozzie Newsome will step down after the 2018 season. Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta will take over.

Newsome, 61, will remain with the Ravens in some capacity.

"[Newsome] assured me he's not going anywhere and he will work with me and work with Eric for a smooth transition," Bisciotti said at his State of The Ravens press conference. "He will be the highest-paid scout in America when Eric takes over next year."

Newsome was named the Ravens general manager in 2002 and was the key architect of Baltimore's Super Bowl XXXV and Super Bowl XLVII championship teams.

After a 13-year playing career as a tight end in Cleveland, Newsome joined the Browns front office. When the team moved to Baltimore in 1996, Newsome followed as vice president of player personnel before being elevated to general manager in 2002. Newsome was the first African American general manager in the NFL.

Newsome is credited with building one of the best defenses in NFL history with the selections of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata. During his 22 seasons in charge of Ravens personnel, Newsome acquired 38 Pro Bowlers all 17 All-Pros.

The Ravens have made the playoffs in 10 of Newsome's 22 seasons in the front office. Baltimore also has the fourth-most playoff wins and the second-highest playoff win percentage (.652) under Newsome's watch.

The end of the Newsome era will finally allow DeCosta to take control of Baltimore's roster. The long-time assistant has been a sought-after general manager candidate for many other openings across the league. Often DeCosta turned down those interviews, instead desiring to bide his time under Newsome before eventually taking over the Ravens.

The transition to DeCosta now has a clear timeline. The 46-year-old joined the Ravens in 1996 in an entry-level position before rising through the ranks. He has been the assistant general manager since 2012. In a year's time, DeCosta will become just the second general manager in Ravens history.