While Derrick Mason naturally felt a bit slighted by the Ravens releasing him and then shopping around looking for his replacement, the veteran wide receiver’s decision to sign with the Jets boiled down to family, not ego, a source close to Mason said.
The source said that Mason strongly considered returning to the Ravens and he doesn’t hold a grudge toward the organization, but that the Jets presented a better fit for the receiver and his family. Mason also considered an offer from the Titans, and needed to sit down with those close to him to come to a decision on which of the three teams to join.
The Ravens cut Mason in a salary cap move nearly two weeks ago, but still had interest in bringing him back, especially after receiver Malcom Floyd chose to re-sign with the Chargers rather than come to Baltimore.
Mason understood that his release was a business decision, and did not feel disrespected by the move, the source said.
The Ravens’ franchise leader in receptions and receiving yards also feels he has positive relationships with head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco, and was upset at media reports that he and Flacco did not get along.
While Mason enjoyed playing for Harbaugh and with Flacco, reuniting with Jets head coach Rex Ryan - who Mason had a great relationship with during Ryan’s tenure with the Ravens - was too enticing of a situation to pass up.
Mason feels Ryan will give him more of an opportunity to visit his family during the season, and interestingly enough, he thinks he could play a bigger part in the Jets’ offense than he would have in Baltimore.
The 37-year-old is slated to be the Jets’ third wide receiver, while he would likely have slotted in as the No. 2 with the Ravens. Competition for playing time in Baltimore would have come from rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss, as well as James Hardy.