<
>

How long will Newsome stay Ravens' GM?

It's become a yearly tradition to ask Ozzie Newsome how long he plans to remain the Baltimore Ravens' general manager, and this year is no different.

The team's official website asked Newsome how long he would stay the Ravens' personnel decision-maker, and he gave a familiar answer.

“I enjoy coming to work every day. This is a job where each day there is something new,” Newsome said. “I don’t have a bad day at the office. When I do start to have bad days, that’s when I will start to walk away.”

It's always been difficult to read Newsome, whether it's about his plans for retirement or the draft. That's why he is such a great general manager.

No one would be surprised if Newsome remained in his position for the next five years. Many forget that he's only 58 years old.

In the same respect, no one would be surprised if Newsome stepped down over the next year or two. He has nothing to prove as a general manager after building two Super Bowl teams. He had a health scare in November, when he was hospitalized overnight after the Ravens' overtime loss in Chicago.

Plus, the Ravens have been prepared for his departure since naming Eric DeCosta the general manager-in-waiting two years ago. At some point, the Ravens have to reward DeCosta for being a loyal soldier beyond giving him raises.

There was a moment at last week's pre-draft news conference when many reporters thought Newsome was announcing his retirement. When these media sessions end, Newsome is typically the first out the door. This time, there was announcement that Newsome wanted to make some closing remarks.

"I don’t know where this draft is going to stand in the 19 years that we’ve been doing this, but I do trust the information and the people that will be a part of the draft ... and we will bring in some players who are going to impact our football team, not only this year, but in years to come," Newsome said. "I just wanted to take the opportunity to sum this whole thing up, [and say] how pleased [I am] and how good it is to work with the people that I work with and the jobs that they do. They make my job very easy."

Was this Newsome's way of hinting this is his final season? Perhaps. In my 14 years of covering the Ravens, I don't remember an instance where Newsome ended a news conference quite like this. I also know Newsome doesn't tip his hand too often.

For now, Newsome is focused on drafting players who will help make the Ravens a playoff team once again. If he decides to return for his 20th draft next year, he'll likely get asked how long he plans to remain general manager.