Multiple league sources tell us that receiver Derrick Mason has returned to the Ravens.
We’re told that he intends to play football this year, and he will not be retiring.
Several weeks ago, Mason made it known that he planned to call it quits with a year remaining on his deal. The team had been in communication with Mason, but the Ravens had been careful not to push him too hard to return.
Instead, they signed Drew Bennett, who worked out well. For two days.
There’s no evidence that the Ravens made any financial concessions. As a result, Mason will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2009 season.
And while we’ve previously expressed skepticism that Mason was merely trying to get some more money, it appears that the death of Steve McNair pushed him in the direction of calling it quits, and that the passage of time has persuaded Mason to continue.
That said, the fact that $4.4 million was riding on the decision to play or not play had to at least be a factor in the final outcome.
UPDATE: Our own Aaron Wilson caught up with Mason, who was coy about whether his return means that he has returned. Indeed, he has. Per Mike Duffy of the team’s official web site, Mason could be back on the practice field as soon as tomorrow.