Ravens promote DeCosta to assistant GM

The Baltimore Ravens promoted Eric DeCosta to assistant general manager, which is yet another move that sets him up as the successor to Ozzie Newsome.

DeCosta, 41, decided to stay with the Ravens this offseason after being one of the most sought-after general manager candidates in the NFL. It's unknown when Newsome (who turned 56 in March) plans to step down, but the team apparently has his replacement now in place.

“When we extended Eric’s contract earlier this year, we changed his title to assistant GM,” Newsome said in a statement released by the team. “As Eric continues to grow in the personnel department, he is becoming a vital part of the decision-making process.”

The Ravens apparently had enough of other organizations poaching their talent evaluators. Baltimore had previously lost three members of its personnel department over the years. Phil Savage and George Kokinis both became general managers for the Cleveland Browns, and James Harris became the top decision-maker for the Jacksonville Jaguars. All failed to live up to expectations with their new teams.

But, unlike those other situations, Baltimore decided to make a commitment with DeCosta, who began as a player personnel assistant in the team's first year of existence in 1996. He worked his way up through the organization and became the team's director of player personnel in January 2009.

DeCosta showed his loyalty in 2009 when he pulled his name out of the Seattle Seahawks' general manager search. But he truly showed his commitment to the Ravens when he decided to stay this offseason. Three teams (the Colts, Rams and Bears) reportedly requested permission to speak to DeCosta.

Newsome, the only general manager in the Ravens' history, has never publicly said when he would step down, although owner Steve Bisciotti made it clear that it's Newsome's call.

In other moves announced by the Ravens, Joe Douglas has been elevated to national scout and David Blackburn has been promoted to an area scout.