In the most surprising move of the Baltimore Ravens' offseason, wide receiver Derrick Mason has abruptly announced his retirement.
"I have had a tremendous career and I played for two great teams. I had fun," Mason, 35, told jocklife.com, a Web site that shares an office building with Mason's agent. "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 said. "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."
The Ravens, though, would not confirm whether Mason has officially retired.
"For any player to retire, he has to send a letter to the NFL stating this. Derrick Mason has not done that," said Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' senior vice president of public relations.
Mason did not return calls to his cell and home numbers. His agents also did not return calls.
Mason's retirement comes nine days after quarterback Steve McNair, a longtime friend and teammate, was shot and killed in Nashville, Tenn.
"I have been thinking about this since the season ended," Mason said. "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."
Mason's retirement leaves the Ravens with Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams as their top wide receivers.
The Ravens might want to be getting out there phone book to look up Matt Jones, Marvin Harrison, or Plaxico Burress' number. Jones would definitely be a good fit with Clayton if they are looking for a young guy.
If they are looking for a veteran to replace Mason, Harrison would be a very nice fit in there as well and could help the young receivers.