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Lamar absent from OTA's, Bateman surprised by extension offer

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson misses another one of the team's organized team activities on Tuesday
Rashod Bateman
Posted at 5:19 PM, May 28, 2024

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The big story at Ravens organized team activities on Tuesday was not the players on the field for the voluntary work, but one of the handful of players off of it.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson was nowhere to be found. He missed another one of the practices. After attending Wednesday's session last week, he missed the OTA on Thursday and again to start this week.

Other starters missing on Tuesday included Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams. Again, it is voluntary for players to attend this portion of offseason work.

Rashod Bateman is choosing to show up after signing a contract extension. The receiver inked a two-year deal last month. It was a surprise to many Ravens fans as well as Bateman.

"The 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 me, believe in my work, my ethic. The team believes in me so it was a no-brainer," he said. "I love playing here. I love this organization. I love the fans. So, I feel like I still got a lot to do."

Bateman’s new contract keeps him in Baltimore through the 2026 season. The 24-year-old caught 32 passes for 367 yards and one touchdown in a career-high 16 games last season. That’s big considering he had spent the first two years of his career juggling various injuries.

"I’m just blessed to be healthy. I’m not worrying about how many balls I get. I’m not worried about if [offensive coordinator] Todd Monken calls the play for me. The only thing I can control and that is getting open when I can, blocking when I can. I don’t play quarterback. I’m not the O.C. I’m not the O-line. So, anything else outside of that ... I’m just here," said Bateman. "I’m going to help this team out the best way possible."

This could be the last offseason in which Bateman and the rest of his teammates will be participating in these OTA’s. The NFL Players Association apparently wants change to their spring sessions. NFL Network reported the NFLPA is working to finalize a proposal that would eliminate voluntary on-field work in favor of a longer training camp ramp-up, with players arriving in mid-June to early-July.

Mark Andrews doesn’t mind the way it is now but...

"I don’t know the right answer to that. It could be both. I haven’t done it the other way," he said. "The NFLPA asks everybody in the league, they ask all the guys, they make sure that is consensus that guys would want to do that. I really don’t have a problem with how it is set up right now."

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook