Derrick Mason was a top wide receiver for multiple teams during his time in the NFL. At 5-feet-11, he wasn’t the tallest receiver on the field, but he always found a way to get open and make plays.
Mason played 15 seasons in the NFL for four different teams. He made the Pro Bowl twice in his career and was a First-team All-Pro.
Derrick Mason’s career with the Oilers/Titans
The Tennessee Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) selected Mason in the fourth round of the NFL draft out of Michigan State. Mason enjoyed a successful career playing under current Alabama head coach Nick Saban when he was at Michigan State.
In his rookie season, Mason played in 16 games and had 14 receptions for a total of 186 yards. His production started to increase each season. Mason also was a kick returner, and in 1999 he had a total of 805 kickoff return yards. His receiving stats did not match up to his returning stats that year, but Mason would be a significant contribution to the team that made it to the Super Bowl in 2000. In the Super Bowl game, he returned five kickoffs for 122 yards and caught two passes for 18 yards. The Titans lost to the St. Louis Rams 23-16. The next season he broke the NFL record for all-purpose yards in a single season finishing with 2,690 combined receiving and special teams’ yards.
The last four seasons Mason spent in Tennessee were some of his best seasons. From 2001 to 2004, he finished with 1,000 plus receiving yards. During that time, he was named to two Pro Bowl teams. In his final season with the Titans in 2004, he finished with 1,168 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
Mason joins the Baltimore Ravens
After his career in Tennessee, Mason joined the Baltimore Ravens in 2005. From 2007 to 2009, Mason surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. He set a Ravens franchise record in his first season with the team with 86 receptions. In 2007 Mason had 103 receptions, and he became the first receiver in Ravens history to record 100 receptions in a season.
Mason continued his production playing in a Ravens’ uniform. During the 2010 season, he caught the 900th reception of his career and became the 13th receiver in the history of the league to do so. The Ravens ended up releasing Mason in 2011, and the receiver was off to another team.
The end of Mason’s career
Mason finished his career playing one season with the New York Jets and the Houston Texans. He was able to sign a 1-day contract with the Ravens and announce his retirement in 2012. In the early 2000s, Mason was a top receiver in the league.
In 2000, he led the NFL in punt return yards and all-purpose yards. He also is the only player with 10,000 receiving yards and 5,000 return yards. The wide receiver also set franchise records with the Titans and the Ravens. Throughout the course of his career, Mason became a go-to receiver and used his playmaking abilities to become a successful kickoff returner as well. He was an offensive threat, and if he were playing in the league today, he would have the same success.