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Eric DeCosta denies rumored rift with Ravens’ John Harbaugh

The Baltimore Ravens will miss legendary general manager Ozzie Newsome, who retired after the 2018 season following 17 years as Baltimore’s chief decision-maker. Most thought any growing pains in the transition from Newsome to replacement Eric DeCosta would come in the form of player evaluation and basic team-building strategy rather than any interpersonal turmoil between the front office and coaching staff. But multiple reports surfaced last week that DeCosta, who’s been employed by the Ravens for over 20 years, has a tenuous relationship with coach Jim Harbaugh, to the extent it could affect the product the franchise puts on the field.

DeCosta strongly refuted those rumors on Wednesday, though, not only denying any friction between him and Harbaugh, but also alluding to ulterior motives of “enemies” who want to see Baltimore fail, per Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun.

“I would see that, and I would read it, and all I would think to myself is, ‘We have enemies out there who are trying to create divisions and cracks and fissures and things like that,'” he told Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun. “I get it. It’s what we do around draft time. I stand up here at draft time and tell you guys things, and sometimes I have an agenda. So I get it.

“It did upset me a little bit, I think, because it just wasn’t true, and it was a personal thing,” DeCosta continued. “It wasn’t work-related; it wasn’t a game or something that would affect the outcome of a game or strategy. It was personal, and it was simply not true.”

DeCosta is inheriting a roster from Newsome that should make it easy for him to get along with the Ravens’ coaching staff. Lamar Jackson looks like a franchise signal-caller, and the team is loaded with talented young players on defense, including middle linebacker C.J. Mosley, who’s soon hitting free agency.

Is it possible strife develops between DeCosta and Harbaugh? Sure, and several tough decisions the front office must make in free agency before next season could prompt it. For now, though, it’s all simpatico in Baltimore – at least, according to DeCosta.