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Ravens reach extension with wide receiver Rashod Bateman through 2026

Approaching next week’s deadline to exercise the fifth-year option for wide receiver Rashod Bateman, the Ravens have now committed to the former first-round pick through the 2026 season.

On Wednesday, Baltimore announced a contract extension with Bateman that appears to reinforce bullish offseason comments made by both general manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh regarding the 24-year-old’s potential and role in the offense moving forward. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Bateman made just 32 receptions for 367 yards and a touchdown last year, but he played in a career-high 16 regular-season contests after appearing in just 18 games over his first two seasons due to injuries. The 27th overall pick of the 2021 draft out of Minnesota, Bateman becomes the first wide receiver taken in the first round in franchise history to receive a second contract with Baltimore as DeCosta described the news as “a good day for the Ravens.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, but Bateman’s fifth-year option was set to cost $14.345 million for the 2025 season.

“Rashod is going to get opportunities this year,” Harbaugh said in late February. “He ran routes really well. He worked super hard. He was healthy for the first time. Even as [last] 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.”

Despite the injuries that have stunted his development, Bateman has flashed high-end potential, especially when it comes to gaining separation. He appeared poised for a breakout 2022 campaign when he registered 226 receiving yards and two touchdowns over the first three games, but he sustained a Week 4 foot injury that led to season-ending surgery. Last year, observers questioned Bateman’s on-field chemistry with MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson as the two misfired on numerous big-play opportunities. Baltimore is betting on a full spring and summer on the practice field to remedy that, especially with veteran wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. no longer on the roster.

The move also adds some stability to the position group as 2023 first-round pick Zay Flowers was Baltimore’s only wide receiver under contract beyond 2024.

In 34 career games, Bateman has caught 93 passes for 1,167 yards and four touchdowns.

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