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Mason nearly signed with Pats in 2005

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As it turns out, receiver Derrick Mason almost retired neither as a Raven nor as a Titan.  In an alternate NFL universe, Mason would have retired as a Patriot.

Mason said during his Monday retirement press conference that he nearly signed with New England in 2005, the year he made the jump from Tennessee to Baltimore.

It was close,” Mason said, via John Eisenberg of  “I went up there [to New England] and talked to everyone.”

In the end, the tie was broken by something intangible.  “There was just something about this place,” Mason said.

Seven years later, the tiebreaker between retiring with the Ravens (with whom he spent six seasons) or the Titans (with whom he spent eight) came from the way the Ravens handled Mason’s exit after the 2010 season, bringing Mason in to explain why they wouldn’t be bringing him back.

“They had enough respect for me to do that,” Mason said. “Once you have been through that and see that, the decision [to retire with a team] is easy.  Tennessee is a good place, a great place, and they gave me a chance coming [out of college] which I will always appreciate.  But my heart was here.”

Mason finished his career by signing with the Jets, who then traded him to the Texans.  Who then cut him.

But 2011 should be nothing more than a footnote to a great career for a hard-nosed football player who tough, consistent, and highly productive for two different franchises, either of which could use one or two more guys like him now.

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19 Responses to “Mason nearly signed with Pats in 2005”
  1. blairsummit says: Jun 11, 2012 7:39 PM

    Mason was a good work horse. Good luck in retirement

  2. sportsreporterusa says: Jun 11, 2012 7:46 PM

    That is pretty ironic considering the number of times Belichick has told Mason to go _______ off when Mason would say something to BB when they were on opposite sides.

  3. Ghost Rat says: Jun 11, 2012 7:47 PM

    Coming from a Patriots’ fan – this guy was a great player. Would have loved to have had him in New England. Good luck in retirement!

  4. tombradyallday says: Jun 11, 2012 7:49 PM

    Belichick a football life. mason “aye coach im smilin all day”. Belichick “just shut the F??? up will ya mason just shut up, can you see the score board”

  5. westchiefs5 says: Jun 11, 2012 7:58 PM

    Good to know.

  6. dickjagger says: Jun 11, 2012 8:14 PM

    You’re the man, Mase! Thanks for the memories.

  7. briang123 says: Jun 11, 2012 8:25 PM


  8. chrisjohnston10 says: Jun 11, 2012 8:33 PM

    I can only imagine the stats he would have compiled with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.

  9. watermelon1 says: Jun 11, 2012 8:50 PM

    You all realize belichick had such a disliking for mason BECAUSE he decided not to sign there, right?

  10. chrisjohnston10 says: Jun 11, 2012 9:07 PM

    The Patriots had just won back to back Superbowls and Tom Brady would have been throwing to him. Money is obviously why he chose to join Baltimore.

  11. nothingman20 says: Jun 11, 2012 9:38 PM

    Not a Titans or Ravens (or Patriots) fan, but dude was a class act the whole way.

    Love those WR who aren’t afraid to go across the middle, take a big hit, make a big block and don’t come with that ME ME ME attitude every day.

  12. randallflagg52 says: Jun 11, 2012 9:38 PM

    I would like to see the Ravens hire Mason in some sort of coaching capacity in the future. Mason was not a big guy, nor a burner, but he was very quick and was maybe the best route runner since Jerry Rice himself. Guys like the Johnsons, Fitz and the like have freakish size and speed and could always be counted on to get a jump ball and beat coverage thru pure size and speed. Mason had to rely on savvy and his route running ability. If he could pass some of that onto Torrey Smith and Tommy Streeter, lookout.

    Best of luck in the future Mase, you were a underappreciated beast for most of your time in the league.

  13. jimbroney says: Jun 11, 2012 10:28 PM

    I almost went to burger king for lunch today instead of McDonald’s.

  14. mgfred says: Jun 11, 2012 10:31 PM

    Come on… Mason was mouthing off to BB at the sideline during a game. He’s lucky a ref was aorund they probably would have thrown a flag on him…

  15. z0inks says: Jun 12, 2012 12:20 AM

    Mason said during his Monday retirement press conference that he nearly signed with New England in 2005, the year he made the jump from Tennessee to Baltimore.

    “It was close,” Mason said, via John Eisenberg of “I went up there [to New England] and talked to everyone.”

    In the end, the tie was broken by something intangible. “There was just something about this place,” Mason said.


    Somehow I suspect Derrick had very little input into that decision.

    Even while Derrick was still under contract with the Titans, Marcy (or was it Darcy?) made no secrete of the fact that she wanted to move her family to the Baltimore area where she grew up.

    At the time, the rumor was that the Pats actually offered Mason more money, a more stable situation, and a better shot at a championship than he got in Baltimore.

    But as the saying goes, “if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.” And in this case, Momma chose Baltimore.

  16. cheers4ablumpkin says: Jun 12, 2012 12:53 AM

    Happy for mason still wish they would of brought him back last year. Would of been a smart decision with bolden, torrey on the outside and mason in the slot. Would of been grand. They could of used him.

  17. lovefootball4life says: Jun 12, 2012 10:25 AM

    Mason had heart and was tough. I remember a couple years ago with a bad shoulder, his arm dangling between plays almost like it was broken, he continued to play and caught a TD pass because he was pretty much the only decent receiver on the team at the time.

  18. gotcaughtcheating says: Jun 12, 2012 2:40 PM

    Why does it matter? He’d have won just as many Super Bowls in either place. NONE.

  19. bikelikemike says: Jun 12, 2012 10:14 PM

    Idiot above me^^ says he wouldn’t have won a SB if he went to NE. How would you know, moron? It might have made the difference! Haters suck.

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