Ravens Sign First-Rounder Rashod Bateman

The first of the Ravens’ two 2021 first-round picks, Rashod Bateman is now under contract. The former Minnesota wide receiver signed his rookie deal Wednesday.

The No. 27 overall pick, Bateman signed a $12.6MM contract — with a $6.5MM signing bonus — and is now under contract through 2024. He could be kept through 2025 on this deal via the now-fully guaranteed fifth-year option. Baltimore will not have to make that decision until May 2024. In the meantime, Bateman will be a welcome addition to a team that has changed up its receiving corps this offseason.

It has not been especially easy for the Ravens to bolster their receiving crew. They were in on Kenny Golladay, and both JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton passed on better offers from Baltimore in order to re-sign with the teams that drafted them. Although the Ravens did sign Sammy Watkins, their run-heavy offense has predictably been an issue for free agent wideouts. As such, the Ravens have spent first-round picks on receivers in two of the past three years.

At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Bateman will bring a different skill set compared to Marquise Brown. In 2019, however, Bateman did post a Brown-like yards-per-catch figure (20.9). After that 1,219-yard, 11-touchdown season, the big-bodied wideout played a limited role in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. Bateman opted out, opted back in, then left the Golden Gophers during the season to prepare for the draft. He still wound up a first-round pick and will attempt to give Lamar Jackson a steady target on the outside.

Bateman is the first of Baltimore’s draftees to sign and the second first-round pick to ink his rookie contract. The Colts signed Kwity Paye last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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