Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is hopeful about long-term contract negotiations with quarterback Lamar Jackson, who remains on track to hit 2023 free agency. But the GM is not presently in the good graces of one of Jackson's top wide receivers. After DeCosta was quoted this week critiquing his own track record of drafting wideouts, veteran starter Rashod Bateman responded via Twitter, arguing DeCosta is "pointing the finger at us" and "lying" about his own players. The 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has since issued a peace offering and a hugging emoji after his biting critique of the Ravens' handling of their passing offense on Thursday. 

DeCosta was initially asked at the scouting combine about his issues developing reliable receivers, according to The Vault" podcast, to which the GM responded: "If I had an answer, that would probably mean I would have some better receivers. We're gonna 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, but it's not for a lack of effort. ... It's one of those anomalies that I really can't explain, other than to say that we're not going to stop trying. ... [Hopefully] at one of these points, we're gonna hit the ball out of the park."

Bateman, a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2021, responded with a message of his own: "How 'bout you play to your players' strengths and stop pointing the finger at us and No. 8," he wrote on Twitter, alluding to Jackson. "Blame the one you let do this. ... We take heat 24/7. ... And keep us healthy. ... Care about us and see what happens. Ain't no promises, though. ... Tired of ya'll lyin' and cap'n on players for no reason."

Bateman has notably flashed potential as one of the Ravens' top pass-catchers in two NFL seasons, but he's also been severely limited due to injury. After missing five games due to groin surgery as a rookie, he played just six games in 2022 before undergoing season-ending foot surgery. Jackson, his QB, has of course also battled limited availability the last two seasons, missing five games in both 2021 and 2022 due to lower-body injuries.

Baltimore just this offseason changed offensive coordinators, replacing Greg Roman, who resigned following the season, with Todd Monken. Jackson's future remains murky, even as the Ravens are expected to use a franchise tag to prevent him from hitting the open market later this month.