3. Rashod Bateman
Injuries, and possibly the nature of Ravens’ offense when he has been on the field, have kept Bateman from reaching his potential thus far in his NFL career. When Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta mentioned the team’s poor track record drafting wide receivers when he spoke at the NFL Combine, truly calling himself out in a way, Bateman took offense and tweeted the following.
"How bout you play to your player’s strength and & stop pointing the finger at us and #8 …blame the one you let do this…. we take heat 24/7 . & keep us healthy … care about US & see what happen..ain’t no promises tho … tired of y’all lyin and capn on players for no reason”"
“#8” is of course quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has his own situation with the Ravens right now.
Bateman put himself on the NFL radar with a big 2019 sophomore season as Minnesota, when he had 60 receptions for 1,219 yards (second in the Big Ten, with a Big Ten-leading 20.3 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns (third in the conference). He eventually played five games in the COVID-impacted 2020 season, with 36 catches for 472 yards and two touchdowns.
Bateman was not necessarily angling to be traded with his response to DeCosta. But it certainly opened a window to his possible discontent, and the door for trade offers to land on DeCosta’s plate.
A fresh update on how Bateman is recovering from the foot injury that ended his 2022 season came from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh at the league meetings on Monday.
"He’s healthy,” Harbaugh said. “He’s going to be running in three weeks. He’s going to be ready to roll stronger than ever, healthier than ever. Rashod’s going to have a great season. I’m a big believer in Rashod Bateman. He’s going to come back ready to roll.”"
It’s fair to assume teams called the Ravens about Bateman after what he tweeted a few weeks ago, possibly only to be rebuffed immediately. But it wouldn’t hurt the Lions to check in, and try to buy low on a first-round talent who may need a change of scenery.