Baltimore Ravens

Ravens announce that Eric DeCosta is staying

The Ravens announced Friday that director of player personnel Eric DeCosta, who was being pursued by at least three NFL teams that are currently searching for a new general manager, "will continue with the team and is not going to interview with other teams."

On Wednesday, a league source told The Baltimore Sun that the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams and one other team -- The Chicago Tribune reported that it was the Chicago Bears -- had contacted the Ravens and received permission to talk to DeCosta about front office openings.

But DeCosta, who did not return calls and email from The Sun, decided to stay with the Ravens.

DeCosta said previously that it would take an ideal job opportunity for him to leave the Ravens, who view him as the eventual successor to longtime general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome. In a statement, Newsome said the Ravens hope to keep DeCosta long-term.

"We've established a strong history of retaining most important executives, players, coaches and personnel experts," Newsome, who has served as vice president since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996, said in a news release. "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 he will. He is a most valuable asset and will continue to help us win championships."

DeCosta has also been with the Ravens from the beginning, starting at an entry-level position in 1996 and moving to director of college scouting before assuming his current position in 2009.

During his tenure as director of college scouting, the Ravens drafted linebackers Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, running back Ray Rice, offensive guard Ben Grubbs, and quarterback Joe Flacco, among others.

His keen eye for talent is why DeCosta, 40, is seen as one of the NFL's top up-and-coming execs.

Two years ago, the Seattle Seahawks expressed interest in hiring DeCosta to become their general manager and work with new coach Pete Carroll, but he pulled out of the running and was not interviewed.

In the spring of 2010, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said that he was "inspired" to give incentives for DeCosta to stay with the Ravens, though he stopped short of naming him "GM in waiting."

"I think Eric knows how highly regarded he is in Baltimore," Bisciotti said, "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.

"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."

For now, DeCosta, whose wife is from Maryland and who has a young family entrenched in the area, will remain with the 12-4 Ravens, who in 2011 won their first AFC North title since 2006.