Bateman gets extension, makes Ravens history

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Wide receiver Rashod Bateman is staying in Baltimore, after all.

Bateman reached a two-year extension with the Ravens on Wednesday, which keeps the former first round pick in Baltimore through the 2026 season, the team announced. This surprising move was made eight days before the Ravens had to make a decision on whether to exercise Bateman’s fifth-year option.

There had been speculation that Baltimore might trade Bateman during the draft like the Ravens did with wide receiver Marquise Brown two years ago. Instead, Bateman made team history, becoming the Ravens’ first first-round wide receiver to sign a second contract with Baltimore.

Congratulations to ‘Bate’ and his family,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “This is a good day for the Ravens.”

Bateman, 24, has had a challenging start to his career since being the No. 27 overall pick of the 2021 draft. In three seasons, he’s totaled 93 catches and four touchdowns.

It was only 13 months ago when Bateman called out DeCosta on social media for the GM’s comment about the team’s disappointing track record for drafting pass-catchers.

In a deleted post, Bateman wrote: “How bout you play to your player’s strength and stop pointing the finger at us and #8 [Lamar Jackson].” Bateman later said he spoke to DeCosta, saying, “now we’re best friends.”

Bateman’s first two seasons were derailed by injuries. Bateman missed the first six games of his rookie season after undergoing hernia surgery and was then sidelined for the final nine games of his second season after having foot surgery.

Last season, in his first full season, Bateman didn’t appear to be on the same page as quarterback Lamar Jackson at times and finished with 32 receptions for 367 yards and one touchdown. At the NFL combine last month, Ravens coach John Harbaugh predicted Bateman would take “a big step” in 2024.

“Rashod is going to get opportunities this year,” Harbaugh said in March. “He ran routes really well. He worked super hard. He was healthy for the first time — even as the year went on, he got healthier, and you could see it in his play. The ball got to him, [and] when it did, he made some great plays. The ball is going to get to him a lot more next year. He’s going to be ready to go.”

Bateman is projected to be the Ravens’ No. 2 wide receiver behind Zay Flowers. Baltimore’s other wide receivers are Nelson Agholor, Tylan Wallace, Deonte Harty and Sean Ryan.

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