That collective sigh of relief you just heard exhaling from the lungs of Baltimore was brought on by the fact that Wide Receiver Derrick Mason ended his brief retirement on Saturday and reported to Ravens training camp at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.
This is great news for the Ravens considering Mason was their best, and sometimes only, wide receiving option in 2008. He led the team with 80 receptions for 1,037 yards last season while adding five touchdown grabs.
According to Baltimoreravens.com, Mason weighed his options carefully before deciding he still belonged on the field.
“It was a tough decision, but I think it was a good decision for me to come back,” Mason said. “I needed to evaluate my life, football and my career. The last several weeks thinking about it and talking with my family was an important time for me and them.
“I still have an intense fire inside me, and I want to play. My family and I wanted to finish it out the right way. I felt like I had left something undone, and I wanted to finish it. I believe this is a good example for my son and my daughter on how to be thoughtful and also follow through.”
The Ravens are hoping the re-addition of Mason will help the team follow through on a surprising 2008 season.
Under first year Head Coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens went 11-5 last year while riding a wave of confidence into the AFC Champtionship game before being knocked-off by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mason said he was excited to rejoin his teammates and take care of some unfinished business.
“I wanted to make sure that when I do retire, I won’t have any regrets,” he said. “As I’ve thought about this and talked about this with my family, I realized I would have regrets if I didn’t come back.
“I think I’m in great shape. I have been working out, and I was part of the offseason program. I’m ready to get out there with my teammates.”