Ravens director Eric DeCosta staying

Eric DeCosta, one of the most sought-after general manager candidates, has decided to stay with the Baltimore Ravens, the team said Friday.

The Colts, Rams and Bears all had requested permission to speak to DeCosta, the Ravens' director of player personnel. But DeCosta chose not to interview with other teams.

"Since this franchise started in 1996, we've established a strong history of retaining our most important executives, players, coaches and personnel experts," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "Eric, who has had opportunities to interview with other teams recently and over the years, is another one we want to keep and will keep.

"He has chosen to stay with the Ravens, and we're excited that he will. He is a most valuable asset and will continue to help us win championships."

DeCosta has long been considered the successor-in-waiting to Newsome, the team's only general manager, who turns 56 in March but has never publicly hinted at retirement.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has rewarded DeCosta for his loyalty in the past -- he removed his name from the Seahawks' general manager search in 2009 -- with an increase in pay and responsibility.

"I think Eric knows how highly regarded he is in Baltimore, but when you have a guy as successful as Ozzie Newsome in the job, there's not a ton of promises that you can make," Bisciotti said in March 2010. "I think Eric is smart enough to see what happened with Phil [Savage] and George [Kokinis], and he'll probably limit himself to consideration of just a handful of jobs.

"His relationship with Ozzie is just as solid as any relationship I've seen in the NFL. He's so happy in his job that I think it will take a perfect job to get his serious consideration. Eric is going to make a great GM someday."

Jamison Hensley covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.