Derrick Mason has decided to retire as a Baltimore Raven.
Today during a 3PM press conference the 38-year-old Mason will be accompanied by general manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh at the Under Armour Performance Center to make the announcement.
Mason’s choice to retire as a Raven is a mild surprise given that he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans, played 8 years there (v. six in Baltimore), lived in Nashville the majority of his playing career and he was a participant in a Super Bowl XXXIV when the Titans fell to the Rams.
Statistically as a Titan, Mason had 453 receptions for 6,114 yards and 37 touchdowns. As a Raven Mason would become the franchise leader in receptions (471) and yards receiving (5,777). His 29 career touchdowns in Baltimore are second to Todd Heap’s total of 41. Mason also owns the club’s single-season franchise record with 103 receptions in 2007.
Mason was often criticized by many fans as being a selfish player. Those fans are wrong! Mason was tough; productive; a willing and capable blocker; and he was durable. He never missed a game as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s not confuse his competitive desire to win and to seek that elusive Super Bowl ring as a sign of egocentricity.
It could actually be argued that at times during his career Ray Lewis has been far more egocentric than No. 85.
Count me among those who are happy to see that the last jersey Mason hangs up is that of a Baltimore Raven.
If Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is lucky enough he’ll employ many more players with the heart of this former Michigan State Spartan.
Here’s to you D-Mase!