Rashod Bateman learns the price for missing the start of training camp

Before 2020, a player who missed the start of training camp would get a year of credited service if he showed up at least 30 days before the first game of the regular season. Now? Not.

The first guy to experience that is Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman.

As noted yesterday by Jeff Zrebiec of, Bateman (a first-round pick in 2021, had only two accrued seasons because he failed to report to the start of training camp. Article 8(1)(b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement now provides that any player who "failed to report to the Club’s preseason training camp on that player’s mandatory reporting date" loses an accrued season.

Although he had only two accrued seasons, Bateman had completed three years of his contract. In 2025, however, he would have been a restricted free agent.

He still would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2026. However, he would have gotten more in 2025 under the fifth-year option than the RFA tender.

It's moot because he has signed with the Ravens through 2026. But he would have been able to leverage something better than he did if he would have been able to force the Ravens to make the fifth-year option call before May 3.

The lesson to all young players? Report for training camp in time. The only exception would be players who are fully motivated to stay away until they get their second contract, making the extra accrued year no big deal.