The NFL announced as much last week and the Fritz Pollard Alliance did the same in a statement on Tuesday.
“Several years ago, Eric DeCosta and the Baltimore Ravens reached agreement that DeCosta would succeed Hall of Famer and legendary General Manager Ozzie Newsome when Newsome steps down,” the Fritz Pollard Alliance said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“Under Rooney Rule protocol, when a Club has established a firm succession plan that involves an internal coach or executive replacing a departing Head Coach or General Manager, no external search is required. Examples of such circumstances include Jim Caldwell‘s succession of Tony Dungy as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Jim Mora‘s succession of Mike Holmgren as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.”
The Ravens officially announced the move on Friday, with Newsome moving to a scouting and consulting role when his current contract runs out after next season. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said last Friday that the decision originally was made when Newsome signed a five-year contract in 2013.
“We had talked after the 2013 season and it was about Eric, and Ozzie agreed to re-do his contract for a five-year extension in which case he would turn over the 53 to Eric,” Bisciotti said.
Newsome has been the team’s general manager since the team relocated to Baltimore from Cleveland in 1996.
Newsome, 61, was an executive with the Cleveland Browns before he became the Ravens’ vice president of player personnel in 1996. He was named Baltimore’s general manager in 2002, becoming the league’s first minority general manager.
He was the mastermind of several successful drafts, which included Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, and the architect of Ravens teams that won the Super Bowl following the 2000 and 2012 seasons.
Newsome played 13 seasons for the Browns as a tight end and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
DeCosta, 46, has been viewed as Newsome’s successor for years, and he has rejected chances to interview elsewhere. He turned down an opportunity to interview for the Green Bay Packers‘ general manager position this offseason.
DeCosta served as Baltimore’s director of player personnel before being named assistant general manager in 2012.