Ravens Extend WR Rashod Bateman

APRIL 29: Unlike the rest of the 2021 first-round picks who entered this offseason on their rookie contracts, Bateman was ineligible for the fifth-year option due to his stay on the reserve/did not report list last summer, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes. The short stay before reporting to camp last year would have made Bateman a restricted free agent in 2025 and a UFA in ’26, helping shape his recent extension.

Bateman’s through-2026 deal is worth $15.25MM, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. The deal can max out at $16.75MM. Bateman will be 27 when this contract expires, giving the Ravens potential upside in exchange for some security after a bumpy first three seasons.

APRIL 24: Rashod Bateman delivered a healthy season last year, and although the former first-round pick operated as more of an auxiliary target in 2023, the Ravens view him as a key part of their future.

The defending AFC North champions showed this by agreeing to an extension with Bateman on Wednesday. The parties agreed on a deal that runs through 2026. This would effectively be a two-year extension for Bateman, whose rookie contract was set to expire after the 2024 season.

After two injury-plagued seasons and a 16-game 2023 campaign that only produced 367 yards, Bateman was not a reasonable candidate to see his fifth-year option picked up by the May 2 deadline. But the Ravens have reached a compromise with the Minnesota alum. While Bateman has not lived up to his No. 27 overall draft slot, he will gain a bit of security with this deal. Though, the terms will be telling here.

Bateman’s career high in receiving yardage (515) came as a rookie, and the 2021 draftee has only totaled four career receiving touchdowns. The Ravens were counting on the 6-foot-1 receiver in 2022, but a foot injury ended his season after six games. The team brought in more help last year, adding Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor and Zay Flowers. Beckham, who played ahead of Bateman last year, is out of the picture for 2024. Flowers is in place as the Ravens’ WR centerpiece, with Agholor still on the roster.

The Ravens have been pursuing more help, hosting Michael Gallup and Josh Reynolds (who later joined the Broncos) on free agency visits in March. They ended up signing receiver/return man Deonte Harty earlier this month. With Agholor in a contract year and Beckham having been the team’s second-leading receiver last season, the Ravens looking for more help in the draft would make sense. But this agreement probably buys Bateman more time. He figures to be in Baltimore’s 2025 plans as well.

Mark Andrews remains the Ravens’ aerial centerpiece; he has displayed by far the best rapport with Lamar Jackson. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens use Bateman going forward, after separating with Beckham. The well-traveled standout remains unsigned but is not expected back in Baltimore.

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