After two seasons in the NFL, the third season will be make-or-break for Rashod Bateman. The Baltimore Ravens will have to decide whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option. If they do not, it may mean that he has just one season left with the team.
While things have changed a bit in the Ravens receiver room, it may be for the better. Beyond health, what is the case for Bateman having a better season in 2023 than the last two?
3. Additons to Baltimore Ravens offense could help Rashod Bateman
Some people may think that the additions of Odell Beckham and Zay Flowers are a death sentence for the prospects for Rashod Bateman. However, at the same time, they could easily help clear things up for him. First, Beckham has as many health questions as Bateman at this point, that is no lock.
Beyond that, Zay Flowers is a rookie. So, both will surely have an impact, but neither will be the sole carrier of an offense. Still, Flowers and Beckham do have the name brand value more than Bateman at this point.
So, the Baltimore Ravens could see the attention slip to one of the others, and it could leave Bateman against the opposing team's third-best cornerback, or at least it will leave Bateman seeing almost bracket coverage.
When you think of how the Ravens will use Zay Flowers as a rookie, the most likely thought is an improved Devin Duvernay role where they put the ball in his hands near the line of scrimmage. Odell Beckham has always won with his slant routes, and it may have the defense creeping in because of those two.
That could leave Bateman open over the top for big plays. Bateman showed last season that when he has a chance to expose teams with the bomb, he can make that play. With Flowers and Beckham, teams will not be thinking about that impact as much. If Bateman loses more of the share of targets, but his yards and big play rate go up, it could still lead to a big-time season.