Wide receiver Derrick Mason, 37, said that he’ll consider his options before making a decision on whether to retire. The two-time Pro Bowl selection said he has one goal in mind if he decides to return
“My one and only goal is to go to a Super Bowl and leave with a Super Bowl,” Mason said. “It has eluded me for the last 14 years. Do I come back another year and try it again? I’m not coming back for anything else if that’s the case.”
Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk said he won’t need to undergo knee surgery.
Retirement doesn’t seem to be in his plans, either.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s tough. It’s always tough at this point of the season, always stunned at the sudden stop. Obviously you have to consider a lot of things, but I feel pretty good physically. Obviously, I love being a part of this team and the organization. I need to get away for a while and regroup.”
Harbaugh said that he hopes both players will return, expressing confidence that the two veterans have more football left in them.
“You talked about Matt Birk and Derrick Mason retiring, I’m sure when they get to this stage, guys always have to think about that every year,” Harbaugh said. “I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they don’t. I think we’re a better team with both those two guys, and my guess is they have a couple years left.
“It’ll be a family decision for them probably, but those are staples of our team right now. We’re all replaceable, and we would obviously move on if anybody decided not to play anymore, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for those two guys.”
LENGTHY LIST: The Ravens’ full free agent list includes Houshmandzadeh and Stallworth, Yanda and Jared Gaither, offensive guards Chris Chester and Tony Moll, McClain, Bulger, linebacker Prescott Burgess, Ngata, Carr, Wilson and Washington, strong safety Dawan Landry, long snapper Kevin Houser, Cundiff and Koch.
Plus, running back Willis McGahee is unlikely to be back unless he takes a drastic pay cut from his scheduled base salary of $6 million for next season under his seven-year, $40.12 million contract that has three remaining years with $19.7 million left on his contract.
The Ravens also have nine restricted free agents.
That includes inside linebacker Jameel McClain, safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura, offensive tackle Oniel Cousins, defensive tackles Lamar Divens and Kelly Talavou, linebacker Tavares Gooden, running back Jalen Parmele and wide receiver Marcus Smith.
EIGHT SIGNED TO RESERVE/FUTURE DEALS: Bolstering their offseason roster, the Ravens have signed eight players to reserve/future deals.
In addition to announcing that they’ve signed former Buffalo Bills second-round wide receiver James Hardy, the Ravens have also retained their practice squad players that ended the season with the team.
The Ravens signed offensive tackles Brady Bond and Andre Ramsey, wide receiver Justin Harper, quarterback Hunter Cantwell, cornerback Danny Gorrer and outside linebacker Albert McClellan.