On Thursday, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman called out General Manager Eric DeCosta for his comments about the struggling track record on drafting wideouts.
Less than an hour later, Bateman deleted the tweet and apologized for the original message.
my apologies— Rashod Bateman (@R_bateman2) March 2, 2023
Bateman’s reaction was to DeCosta’s commentary during Wednesday’s podium session at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he asked about evaluating wide receivers from a tweet quoting DeCosta.
“If I had an answer, that would probably mean I would have some better receivers. ... We’re gonna keep swinging,” the tweet read.
However, the full answer gives more breadth to the commentary, and not that he was criticizing Bateman, more offering transparency that the organization hasn’t landed enough talent at the position.
“I would say a lot of people would say the same thing; it’s a challenging position to evaluate in different ways. If I had an answer, that means I would probably have some better receivers, I guess,” DeCosta said. “We keep trying. I think there are a lot of things that go along with that position. Sometimes it is tied to the quarterback, and I think it’s tied to things like durability; it’s tied to a lot of things. We’re going to keep swinging. There have been some guys that have been successful players for us that were draft picks. We’ve never really hit on that All-Pro type of guy, which is disappointing, I would say, but it’s not for lack of effort. We believe in what we do; we believe in our scouting; we believe in the system that we have – the scouting system that we have. It’s one of those anomalies that I really can’t explain, other than to say we’re not going to stop trying.”
This paints a clear picture that the onus and criticism was never directed at Bateman, but on DeCosta and his scouting team taking responsibility for not landing an “All-Pro type of guy.” It’s been a heavy criticism from the fanbase in how the team has consistently needed wide receiver each offseason and they’ve relied on other methods than drafting to fill such need. DeCosta’s comment acknowledged the criticism and stated they need to solve the issue and if he knew—specifically— what their failure was in evaluation and drafting such a player, he and the organization would be doing so.
Part of the response from Bateman also has to do with the injury issues with Bateman that have flared up emotion. Bateman has voiced frustration in being labeled “injury prone” when he never once dealt with injury in college and has struggled to remain so in his first two seasons in the NFL. This has been a hot topic the past 24 hours after the NFLPA released their Player Team Report Cards and the Ravens strength coaches received the lowest marks in the NFL. Bateman didn’t directly comment on the issue, though he retweeted a comment on the matter.