Despite questions about retirement and whether he would sign elsewhere this offseason, Derrick Mason and the Baltimore Ravens were too good a match for the 13-year veteran not to return.
Mason feels comfortable in Baltimore, he works well with quarterback Joe Flacco, and the Ravens know that when healthy, Mason will perform.
Heck, even when he isn't healthy, Mason still goes out there and guts it out.
That's why GM Ozzie Newsome was more than willing to give a two-year contract reportedly worth $8 million to a 36-year-old wide receiver who has battled injuries the last couple years.
"We know exactly what we're getting with Derrick, and that's production," Newsome said in a statement. "Every Ravens fan knows what Derrick brings to this team. It's reliability, toughness, leadership, the fight to win and the want of the ball in the clutch times. He has a two-year history with Joe that says, 'We know how to produce together.' They are on the same page."
Mason has been remarkably consistent in his time in Baltimore, posting over 70 catches and more than 1,000 receiving yards in four of his five seasons in Charm City.
Currently the Ravens' all-time leader in receiving yards (4,975), Mason also ranks second in career receptions (410) and receiving touchdowns (22).
After retiring for three weeks last offseason and missing part of training camp, Mason should be around for nearly the entire offseason program this year.
But first, he says he's taking a little time off.
"I'm getting myself ready to play football and help the Ravens win," Mason said. "But, the first thing I am going to do is take my family on vacation. I'll see everybody back in Baltimore soon."
When he returns, he'll get back to work, joining Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth as the apparent top-three in head coach John Harbaugh's new and improved wide receiving corps.
"This is outstanding - just great news for the Ravens," Harbaugh said. "Our coaches are happy. Derrick's teammates are happy, and you know Joe is smiling. Way to go to Ozzie and Pat [Moriarty, vice president of football administration] for getting this done.
"We would have lost something special if Derrick had gone to another team. We have gotten better in the last couple of days."