Why Ravens Signed WR Extension Before Draft

The Baltimore Ravens are solidifying their future by signing Rashod Bateman to a three-year extension before the 2024 NFL Draft.
Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with
Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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The Baltimore Ravens are making things clearer at the receiver position by signing Rashod Bateman to a three-year, $15 million extension on Wednesday, less than 48 hours before the 2024 NFL Draft.

Bateman, a 2021 first-round pick, was awaiting a decision on whether the Ravens would pick up his fifth-year option or let him become a free agent following the 2024 season. Instead of going down either of those paths, Bateman and the Ravens agreed to a long-term deal.

The deal will pay Bateman $5 million per year, which is far less than what he would have made with his fifth-year option. The Ravens also weren't willing to let Bateman enter a contract year, which shows that there is desire to keep him.

With Zay Flowers added to the offense, it didn't make sense to have Bateman making fifth-year option money when he doesn't play a role that warrants that kind of money. Bateman finished sixth on the team in receiving yards last season, but with Odell Beckham Jr. gone and Nelson Agholor entering his age-30 campaign, there's room for Bateman to have a larger role within the offense.

With Bateman under contract, it also gives the Ravens an opportunity to focus on other positions when picking in this weekend's draft. The team has been eyeing defensive backs, pass rushers and offensive linemen, and with receiver moving down on the priority list, the other positions move up.

The question of whether or not the Ravens were right to extend Bateman will be answered during the season. For the likely WR3, a $5 million price tag won't break the bank, and given the fact that he has first-round upside, the deal could turn into a massive bargain for the Ravens.

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Jeremy Brener

JEREMY BRENER

Jeremy Brener is an editor, writer and social media manager for several Fan Nation websites. His work has also been featured in 247 Sports and SB Nation as a writer and podcaster. Brener has been with Fan Nation since 2021. Brener grew up in Houston, going to Astros, Rockets and Texans games as a kid. He moved to Orlando in 2016 to go to college and pursue a degree. He hosts "The Dream Take" podcast covering the Rockets, which has produced over 350 episodes since March 2020. Brener graduated in May 2020 from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism minoring in Sport Business Management. While at UCF, Brener worked for the school's newspaper NSM.today and "Hitting the Field," a student-run sports talk show and network. He was the executive producer for "Hitting the Field" from 2019-20. During his professional career, Brener has covered a number of major sporting events including the Pro Bowl, March Madness and several NBA and NFL games. As a fan, Brener has been to the 2005 World Series, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 NCAA National Championship between the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, Brener still resides in the Central Florida area and enjoys writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Brener can be followed on Twitter @JeremyBrener. For more inquiries, please email jeremybrenerchs@gmail.com.