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Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta again attracting interest

Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta again attracting interest
Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta speaks at a Ravens draft press conference after selecting C.J. Mosley with the 17th overall pick on May 8, 2014, in Owings Mills. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun)

Highly respected Ravens executive Eric DeCosta's name comes up every offseason when some general manager openings pop up throughout the NFL.

In recent offseasons, DeCosta, the Ravens assistant general manager and the heir apparent to Ozzie Newsome, has declined to interview, saying that he's happy in Baltimore. However, he figures to have a few decisions to make again this offseason.

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According to the NFL Network, DeCosta is being targeted by the Tennessee Titans for their general manager opening. The Titans fired Ruston Webster on Monday after the team finished with a 3-13 record. DeCosta has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for the general manager opening in Detroit.

DeCosta, who has been with the Ravens since their inaugural 1996 season, declined interview requests from the New York Jets and Chicago Bears last offseason.

In past years, the 44-year-old also declined the opportunity to interview with the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams.

"I get a chance to work with my friends," DeCosta said last April when asked why he has stayed with the Ravens despite annual overtures elsewhere from teams looking for a general manager. "Every day, I come in and work with my friends. I think it's a relationship business. In the end, personal ambitions aside, all you have is really your reputation and your friends and your enjoyment in life. And I love Baltimore, the community.

"My wife is from Baltimore. I've been here 20 years, my kids go to school here. It's great. I sit with these guys every day and give everybody a hard time, get a chance to play jokes on everybody every day, and it's just fun. I enjoy work. I enjoy coming in here. We have a great owner, awesome stadium and best fan base in the country. So, what more do you want?"

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, who has said on several occasions that DeCosta will eventually replace Newsome, promoted DeCosta to assistant general manager in 2012. He also has reworked DeCosta's contract on a couple of occasions.

But as a courtesy, the Ravens figure to allow DeCosta to explore general manager opportunities. After all, Newsome is 59 years old and he said just last offseason that he's not thinking about retiring.

People have long believed that it would take a near-perfect situation for DeCosta to bolt. The Titans have some good factors in their favor. They have quarterback Marcus Mariota in place and they're also in possession of the top pick in April's draft.

Their next general manager will also get the opportunity to hire a new coach as Ken Whisenhunt was fired in November. However, the Titans have some questions about their long-term ownership situation. They also have had just one winning season since 2009, and haven't qualified for the postseason since 2008.

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