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Steve Bisciotti: I Have Two GMs, And Everybody Knows It


General Manager Ozzie Newsome has no plans for retirement any time soon.

Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta is a highly sought-after executive, but he consistently declines interviews when GM vacancies open up.

The dynamic duo will stick together in Baltimore for the foreseeable future; that's a notion that makes Owner Steve Bisciotti beam with joy.

"I have the best of both worlds," Bisciotti said with a Grinch-like grin Thursday. "I have two GMs, and everybody in the league knows that."

Teams consistently express interest in interviewing DeCosta every offseason. The Tennessee Titans were the latest team rumored to want DeCosta, but he turned down the interview to stay in Baltimore. 

Bisciotti joked that to prevent DeCosta from departing when other NFL teams come knocking, he has to shell out more money and bump DeCosta's salary. It's a price Bisciotti is more than happy pay.

Jokes aside, the pay is not the main reason DeCosta sticks around. Bisciotti credits the relationship Newsome and DeCosta have forged over the last 20 years since the franchise came to Baltimore in 1996.

"If it wasn't for his relationship with Ozzie, he wouldn't still be here," Bisciotti said. "He has too much at stake here in his relationship with Ozzie, and Ozzie's relationship with him is just strong.

"It's a testament to [DeCosta]. He has family in this area. I'm very fortunate that he has family in this area. I think he's as patient as can be. I think that if you watched him run our draft, you'd know why he's content to be an assistant GM. At this stage, I've watched Ozzie grow to depend on Eric more and more every year. I don't see either of them going anywhere for many years."

Bisciotti estimates that DeCosta could have chosen between 10 different NFL jobs over the last five or six years. That's how many teams have coming asking for his services. Bisciotti was also quick to point out, however, that seven of those 10 general managers have already been fired.

Not all organizations offer the same stability as the Ravens.

"I think that's where Eric would say [he has] his patience," Bisciotti said. "Because we promote continuity, Eric can afford to be patient. He wouldn't be patient if we were turning people over all the time. If he wasn't patient, I would've gotten rid of Ozzie seven years ago and hired Eric, and Eric would've been out four years ago, and I would've had somebody else sitting up here."

Newsome has held the Ravens GM role since 2002, and even after all these years, he still enjoys his position. Not even a 5-11 season makes him want to leave his post.

In fact, it's had the opposite effect.

"No, it motivates me more," Newsome said. "If and when I do decide to leave this organization – whether it's by my decision or Steve's – I want this organization to be as healthy as it has ever been when I decide to step away.

"I still enjoy the aspects, every aspect, of my job – the interaction with the players, the relationship that I have with these three men here [Bisciotti, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Dick Cass], my staff and the coaches. I still enjoy it, and I have no problem getting up [and] coming to work every day."

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