With new contract, Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman targets breakout year

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman has been in the spotlight this offseason.

As a former first-round selection, big things are expected of Bateman this year. The Ravens showed confidence that he will meet those expectations by signing him to a two-year, $12,87 million contract extension in April that includes a $3,44 million signing bonus.

The deal provides security for Bateman, who was uncertain about what the future held in Baltimore.

“For one, I didn’t know what was going to happen with me,” Bateman said. “I didn’t know if I was going to be here, [get] traded or anything. That extension definitely came out of nowhere. I’m blessed, for sure. I did not see them doing that, but it shows that they believe in, believe in my work, my ethic, [and] the team believes in me …

“I love playing here. I love this organization. I love the fans. I feel like I still have a lot to do, so it was a no-brainer for me, for sure.”

Photo courtesy Baltimore Ravens via X.

This past year, Bateman appeared in 16 regular-season games and finished fifth on the team with 32 receptions for 367 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 41 yards in the two playoff games.

Bateman, however, has dealt with various injuries, including hernia surgery that sidelined him for the first six games of his rookie season. The following year, he had foot surgery and was placed on injured reserve after six games.

Bateman was a highly touted prospect at the Unversity of Minnesota, where he recorded 147 receptions for 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns — fifth most in school history — in 31 games. He averaged 77.3 receiving yards per game,16.3 yards per catch, and had 10 100-yard receiving.

Bateman has yet to equal that type of production in the NFL, but the Ravens have seen his potential, such as his 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 in 2022. Unlike previous years, the team is working to get him more involved in the offense this offseason.

“The ball just hasn’t found him in situations,” wide receivers coach Greg Lewis said. “He comes out here every day and shows what he’s capable of doing, whether it’s [in] practice [or games]. When he gets his opportunities in the game, he does that. It’s just about [getting] more and more opportunities, and then more and more production will come from him.

“I think he’s doing a great job with what we’re giving him and what we’re giving everybody to try and take advantage of the best of his ability.”

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