NFL Free Agency 2011: Tennessee Titans in the Running for Derrick Mason

Chad MintonCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Derrick Mason #85 of the Baltimore Ravens argues a call with a referee during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. Pittsburgh won 13-10.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Just when you thought the Tennessee Titans were done with all of their big free-agent splashes, another possible addition still looms.

Former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason, who was just released by the Baltimore Ravens, could end up rejoining his former team in Nashville.

It has been said by Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean via Twitter, that the Titans are interested in Mason, who played seven seasons with the Titans before leaving for Baltimore in 2005.

There are mixed emotions about this possibility.

First off, I think we can all agree that Mason's best playing days are long behind him. His production has slowly declined every year since joining the Ravens.

In addition to Mason's age, you also have to remember that the Titans have a young receiver in Damian Williams who has a ton of potential.

In the small amount of time Williams saw the field in 2010, he usually looked sharp. Mason would only take away his production.

The Titans already have a veteran receiver who plays much like Mason, and that's Nate Washington. There's simply no room for a receiver like Mason on this team.

If the Titans are going to sign a wide receiver, then it needs to be one who offers a deep threat for newly acquired Matt Hasselbeck. The Titans have plenty of possession receivers.

Mason offers very little in form of a deep threat. He has averaged less than 13 yards per catch for his career.

The one thing Mason would bring to the table is veteran leadership for a predominantly young group of wide receivers, but at what price do you really want to get that?

It also wasn't too long ago that Mason made an abrupt retirement only to quickly change his mind. That tells me that Mason is nearing the end of his career, and you can't take that kind of a risk with an aging player who could decide to retire at any moment.

As great of a story as it would be for Mason to return to Nashville, it just wouldn't make sense for a team that has plenty of short-yardage receivers.

Along with Williams, Marc Mariani is also looking to get more playing time. His playing style is similar to that of a Wes Welker, and he's already shown what he's capable of doing through his solid play in the return game.

Everyone wants to win now, but sooner or later these young players have to get a chance to prove themselves. Otherwise, the Titans are just delaying the inevitable.

The Titans already have one rental in Hasselbeck at quarterback. They don't need to add another one.

It would be one thing if Mason was a rising star in the NFL who made the Titans an instant Super Bowl contender, but, at the most, he makes the Titans a win or two better.

In the grand scheme of things, Mason will not change the Titans' potential all that much.

Since there's no longer a viable deep threat receiver left on the free agency market, the Titans should probably move forward with what they have and get these young receivers some valuable playing time.