Baltimore Ravens veteran WR Derrick Mason has announced his
“I have had a tremendous career and I played for two great teams, I had fun. In
my career, I have been able to do everything but win a Super Bowl. I’ve had the
opportunity to play on great teams and with great players. After 12 years, I
have seen it all and done it all,” Mason stated. “Right now, I am content with
the decision I am making. All good things come to an end and I am ready to see
what else life has to offer," Mason told Jocklife.com.
Interestingly, there didn't seem to be an indication that Mason was ready to
retire. Because of that, the team didn't select a receiver in the draft. The
only move they made in free agency at receiver was to sign talented but
long-time underachiever, Kelley Washington. However, at least internally,
Mason had been thinking about moving on. Although he didn't mention it, Mason
dealt with a significant shoulder injury which lasted almost all of last season,
but he didn't miss any games.
“I have been thinking about this since season ended. Emotionally I am just not
that enthused. I have not been that enthused to get up and work out…it was
getting to that point. This decision has nothing to do with the contract
situation; I have made enough money, more than enough money. Emotionally there
are things that are more important. It’s time right now. I don’t know what’s
going to happen from here, but it’s going to be really nice to see what life has
in store for me. What I want people to remember about my NFL career is that I
played hard…played hard in practice and the game. I tried to make everyone
better and would do anything to help.”
It should be noted that Mason has yet to notify the league that he's retiring.
“For any player to retire, he has to send a letter to the NFL stating this.
Derrick Mason has not done that," the team announced in a press release in
response to media reports in regard to Mason's announcement.
Assuming that Mason is going through with his decision to move on, that leaves
Mark Clayton as the only sure starter at receiver. Oft-injured, but very
talented Demetrius Williams figures to be the odds-on favorite to replace
Mason in the lineup within the current roster, but the team will likely look
elsewhere to at least sign another veteran to challenge for void. Another
younger player to keep an eye on his second-year pro Marcus Smith. The
big-bodied receiver was putting together a very strong training camp last year
until he suffered a significant shoulder injury that lingered for many weeks.
Baltimore talked to the Arizona Cardinals about acquiring WR Anquan Boldin
prior to the draft, but sources said a potential deal wasn't close and
Arizona wasn't really looking to deal him away. It was more than that were just
trying to gauge his worth. However, that could change closer to the start of the
regular season if the situation becomes very ugly between the team and Boldin,
who has two years left on his contract.
Mason, 35, was on the final year of the five-year, $20 million contract which he
signed in 2005. His base salary for 2009 was $3 million.
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