Here's hoping good-guy Mason returns
If you were a media person in this town who covered the Ravens, the news that the team was preparing to release Derrick Mason was at once sobering and sad.
Mason, the Ravens' veteran wide receiver, was the go-to guy for quotes for so many of us in this business. He was charming, accessible and articulate. Best of all, he enjoyed the give-and-take with the media and knew what we needed from him to do our jobs.
Anyone with a media credential looking to take the pulse of the Ravens locker room always made it a point to swing by the locker of no. 85.
There's a chance the Ravens could re-sign Mason, their all-time leader in pass receptions, at a reduced salary. I still think there's a role for him on this team. He's still an excellant possession receiver. He still runs the 15-yard comeback route as well as anyone in the NFL.
And from all indications, Mason would love to remain with the Ravens. The 15-year-veteran sounded positively wistful in radio interviews he did Monday night with WBAL-Radio and 105.7 The Fan. He said all the right things about understanding the cold, cruel business of pro football, but that his heart was still with the Ravens and that he hoped something could be worked out contractually.
I hope he comes back, too. I loved watching the guy play. I loved his passion for the game, and his unbridled love for his teammates. And I loved talking with Derrick Mason, too, whether it was for another column or whether we were just shooting the breeze.
In a locker room full of wary players often reluctant to share their thoughts with anyone carrying a notepad or a microphone, Mason was always a breath of fresh air.