NFL Free Agency: Best Fits for Derrick Mason
Well the lockout has been lifted for less than a day and already the wheels of free agency are turning. In a stunning move the Ravens are releasing veterans Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg, Willis McGahee and Derrick Mason.
The releases of Gregg and McGahee are not particularly surprising as both were starting to slow down and it was clear near the end of last year that they might not be long for the team.
Out of the three, Derrick Mason seems the most desirable. He is coming off a season with 61 receptions, 802 yards and seven touchdowns and seems to have a couple of more productive seasons left in the tank.
Many teams in the league would benefit from a veteran wide receiver who can mentor a young rising star, while some teams may just want him as the missing piece to win now. Whoever gets him will be getting a great player though, and he may end up being the most overlooked free agent of 2011.
Derrick Mason has been great for the Ravens. The model of consistency, he has had four 1,000-yard seasons since joining the team in 2005.
He has made many great plays and has played with heart and courage. Many Ravens fans want him back and maybe the Ravens' management does too.
It is possible that the Ravens will re-sign Mason to a cheaper contract later in free agency. This doesn't seem likely to be, but it is a possibility.
Of all the accomplishments Derrick Mason has accomplished, a Super Bowl ring is not among them.
That's where the Patriots come in.
Over the years Patriots have signed veterans, such as Randy Moss and Corey Dillion, who have come in and made a difference on some great playoff teams.
Derrick Mason could come in and continue this tradition, as he would complement the current Patriots receivers nicely.
The Redskins are always big players on the free agent market and this year looks to be no different.
The Redskins are looking to add a wide receiver and since they are known to overpay for free agents, if they target Mason he may not be able to resist the cash.
It doesn't seem likely to me though; the Redskins probably want someone younger and with a bigger name.
One of the main weaknesses for the Bears last year was wide receiver play. Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester just didn't get the job done the way the Bears hoped they would.
Looking to win now, the Bears are hoping to add a veteran wide receiver and they have been linked to Randy Moss, Sydney Rice, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes.
Mason might be the best deal of the bunch. He will be cheaper than any of the others and is a safer bet than Moss, but I still feel the Bears will go younger than Mason.
Derrick Mason started his career as a Titan and was one of the most popular and productive players on the team.
Now he is a free agent and the Titans are coincidentally looking for a wide receiver to complement and mentor Kenny Britt.
I think it is a perfect fit, but the Titans have other more pressing issues to take care of in free agency so finding the money and time to sign a receiver might not happen.