After the face of the Ravens franchise, Ray Lewis, announced that he would be retiring after the team’s playoff run, speculation began to swirl regarding any other major focal pieces of the Ravens organization potentially following suit.
Most of the speculation has been directed towards Ravens saftey and fellow future Hall of Famer, Ed Reed, but Reed cleared the air on Thursday as he met with the media and said he will play next season.
On Tuesday, the Ravens sent out a media advisory stating that general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome would be meeting with the media on Friday to answer questions about the 2012 season and Super Bowl run. Typically, Newsome only meets with the media after the season or for a major announcement such as earlier this season when former owner Art Modell had passed away. The speculation grew that maybe Newsome would be adding his name to the list of Ravens legends departing after their Super Bowl run.
“That’s not even close,” Newsome told Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. “Really, I enjoy the guys I work with and I think we have a great staff. I really, really enjoy the players and my relationships with them and that helps me in coming to work every day. Of course, winning helps, too.”
Newsome’s post-NFL career path hasn’t really been a secret as it has been speculated for years that he would rejoin his alma mater the University of Alabama in some capacity within their athletic offices. Whenever Newsome does step down from within the Ravens front office, a succession plan is already in place, with assistant general manager Eric DeCosta ready to remove the “assistant” part from his job title.
DeCosta has been requested by multiple teams within the past few years to interview for general manager openings but has instead accepted a pay increase from the Ravens to the point of near the salary of most general managers around the league.
On New Year’s Eve, DeCosta issued a statement saying, “I love being a part of the Ravens and plan to stay here and help them win championships. I have no intentions on leaving this team.”
The fact that the Ravens are holding onto DeCosta and paying him handsomely in the meantime means that the day Newsome walks away will likely come sooner rather than later. Retiring after a victory in the Super Bowl, and seeing your first draft pick in franchise history be inducted into the Hall of Fame, AND seeing the second pick in history retire and unquestionably become a part of the Class of 2018 would seem like the perfect way to go out for Newsome.
While it seems like a great story, Newsome doesn’t appear to want to write the final chapter with the Ravens just yet.