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Lamar Jackson doesn't have a new contract.
But he's back in a Ravens uniform. After skipping voluntary OTAs, the Baltimore quarterback returned to Ravens facilities on Monday for the first time this offseason, quelling speculation that his contract situation might lead to a holdout.
His teammate Marlon Humphrey broke the news early Monday, posting social media video of himself alongside Jackson at the team's facilities.
Marlon Humphrey has found Lamar Jackson pic.twitter.com/X6bhFyGPhD
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) June 13, 2022
The Ravens later tweeted out video of Jackson wearing gear on a practice field.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 13, 2022
"What's going on guys," Jackson said. "I'm back at the king's castle. I hope you're ready for the season because I surely is. Let's do it."
This appears to confirm that Jackson is ready to play this season as he approaches the final year of his rookie contract without an extension. Jackson skipped OTAs in May and early June for the first time in his career. Mandatory minicamp starts on Tuesday, and Jackson is back.
Where do Lamar Jackson's contract talks stand?
The state of negotiations between Jackson and the Ravens is unclear. Jackson's slated to make $23 million this season on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract that the Ravens exercised in 2021. Without an extension, Jackson would become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Jackson is representing himself in negotiations and hasn't offered much information publicly about where he stands. The Ravens, meanwhile, have been content to work on his timeline. Head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters during OTAs that Jackson's contract "is for him to talk about."
There aren't any clear signs of discord between the two sides. But the draft-day trade of wide receiver Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals and — more specifically — Jackson's reaction to the deal raised concern for Ravens fans. Jackson tweeted his dissatisfaction with Baltimore's moves multiple times on draft day, including this NSFW retweet of a fan complaining about the Brown trade:
Lamar Jackson learning of the Hollywood Brown trade... pic.twitter.com/2A7QmbCFA4
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 29, 2022
But none of that kept the 2019 league MVP from reporting on Monday. And the ball for negotiations appears to be firmly in his court.
Jackson may be waiting for other quarterbacks like Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow to set a higher bar with anticipated extensions to their rookie contracts, which could extend his uncertain status through the season. If a deal isn't reached by next offseason, the Ravens would surely use the franchise tag to keep Jackson under their control.
Whatever the case, it appears that there's no cause for panic in Baltimore. Instead, patience is prudent.