Ravens' General Manager Ozzie Newsome will step down after the 2018 season

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers

Ozzie Newsome, the longtime GM of the Baltimore Ravens, will step down after the 2018 season. 

The Hall of Fame tight end has overseen a highly successful period in the franchise's history, including two Super Bowl wins. His 22 seasons with the Ravens, 13 as GM, have seen a number of historic players drafted into the organisation. 

The careers of potential Hall of Famers Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs all overlap with Newsome's time with the team, outlining his prowess for spotting talent. Adding to that list are other All Pro players that have been selected by the Ravens during his tenure, including CJ Mosley, Marshall Yanda and Haloti Ngata. 

In all, he has been responsible for the drafting of 38 Pro Bowlers and 17 All Pro's. 

Newsome has rarely missed in the draft and has become increasingly active in free agency in recent times, acquiring top players such as Eric Weddle.

His ability to piece together winning teams, and fearsome personnel on defense, will be his lasting legacy in Baltimore. The Ravens have reached the playoffs 10 times since Newsome has been with the team and have established a culture of outstanding defense in that period. 

Baltimore also has the fourth-most playoff wins and the second-highest playoff win percentage (.652) since he joined the front office in '96. 

He was the key man behind two Super Bowl winning groups and will go down as the first African American GM in the NFL. 

Not the end just yet...

Though the 61 year old will relinquish his title as GM, he will remain with the team in some capacity.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced that Newsome will be replaced by Eric DeCosta, the current Assistant GM. 

"[Newsome] assured me he's not going anywhere and he will work with me and work with Eric for a smooth transition," Bisciotti said. "He will be the highest-paid scout in America when Eric takes over next year."

DeCosta has fought off many suitors across the NFL over the past couple of years in order to learn under Newsome and the 46-year-old will now have control over the roster. Another longtime Ravens employee, DeCosta has progressed from an entry level employee to the clear heir to Newsome's throne. 

Arguably the best specialist GM in the league over the past 10 years or so, Newsome will leave big boots to fill. But, he has one more offseason in order to stamp his thumbprint on a team for a final time.

Expect a strong free agency period and draft in Baltimore as Newsome works around the clock to provide his team with one last special crop of players before his tenure is over. 

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