Derrick Mason

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Derrick Mason
Mason at Ravens Training Camp in 2010.
No. 82, 85
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-01-17) January 17, 1974 (age 40)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 197 lb (89 kg)
Career information
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 4 / Pick: 98
Debuted in 1997 for the Tennessee Oilers
Last played in 2011 for the Houston Texans
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 943
Receiving yards 12,061
Receiving TDs 66
Stats at
Stats at

Derrick James Mason (born January 17, 1974) is a former American football wide receiver who played for fifteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Tennessee Oilers in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL Draft after playing college football for the Michigan State Spartans. Following eight seasons with the Oilers (later called the Titans), including two Pro Bowl selections (2000 and 2003), Mason signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2005. He became the Ravens' all-time leading receiver with 5,777 yards from 2005 to 2010, but he was released before the 2011 season. He spent 2011 on the New York Jets and Houston Texans rosters with little success. Mason decided to retire a Baltimore Raven on June 11, 2012.

Early years[edit]

Mason attended Mumford High School in Detroit, Michigan. He set a school record for both catches (70) and receiving yards (1,243).[1]

College career[edit]

Mason played college football at Michigan State. During his four-year career, he set a team record for kick off return yards of 2,384. He also caught eight touchdowns.

He played under Nick Saban in 1995 & 1996 where he would catch 106 passes for 1,652 yards and 6 TD. He also played alongside Muhsin Muhammad in 1995.

Professional career[edit]

Tennessee Titans[edit]

Mason started his career with the Oilers/Titans after being drafted in the 4th round (98th overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he played in 16 games recording 14 catches for 186 yards. He made his NFL debut versus the Oakland Raiders on August 31. The following season he again played in all 16 games and this time recording 25 catches for 3 yards and three touchdowns, the first of his career came versus the Chicago Bears on October 25. He also returned 31 punts for 228 yards. In the 1999 season, Mason gained 1,030 yards returning punts and kickoffs, assisting the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV where he returned 5 kickoffs for 122 yards and caught 2 passes for 18 yards in Tennessee's 23–16 loss. He also returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown in the Titans 33-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game. In the 2000 season, he led the NFL in punt return yards (662) while also catching 63 passes for 895 yards and returning 41 kickoffs for 1,132 yards (an NFL leading 27 yards per return average), giving him 2,690 combined receiving and special teams yards, breaking the NFL record for all-purpose yards in a single season previously held by Lionel James (2,535).[2] Darren Sproles broke Mason's record in 2011 with 2,696 yards.[3] He is only the second player in Titans history to pass the 2,000 yard mark. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl. In 2001, he started 15 games and scored 9 touchdowns, a career high. Just as he had done the previous season, he went past the 2,000 all purpose yards mark, the first Titan to do this in consecutive seasons. The following season he started in 14 games and led the team in a number of categories including receptions, reception yards and touchdowns. In 2003, he started all 15 games and finished the season with 1,303 receiving yards and 95 receptions which was the 5th highest in the NFL. The following season, in 2004, he again started all 16 games and was ranked 2nd in the NFL with 96 receptions for 1,168 yards and seven touchdowns.[4]

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

Mason signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an unrestricted free agent on March 7, 2005. In his first year with the team, he started in all 16 games and recorded 86 receptions, a Ravens franchise season record. In 2006, he played in 16 games with 15 starts and finished the campaign with 68 receptions for 750 yards and two touchdowns. Mason caught the pass that gave Steve McNair 30,000 passing yards for his career in the 19-7 win in the season finale against the Buffalo Bills. The following year, Mason had 103 receptions for 1,087 yards and five touchdowns. Mason became the first player in Ravens history to record 100 receptions in a season.[1] He also had a 79 yard score.

Mason in 2010.

In 2008, Mason was selected as a third alternate wide receiver for the Pro Bowl. In 2008, he had 80 receptions for 1037 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. He was the primary target for rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. Mason dislocated his shoulder when he fell after a catch in a game against the Houston Texans, eventually coming back to finish the contest. Mason also played with a shoulder he separated against the New York Giants.[5] Mason re-aggravated of his injury against the Dallas Cowboys,[6] but finished the game with six catches for 66 yards and one touchdown. He led the team with a postseason career-high 12 receptions for 190 yards, including a postseason career long 48-yard touchdown reception.[1]

2009 saw Mason continue his solid production with 73 catches for 1,028 yards. Mason scored seven times, two more than the previous year.

On November 21, 2010, Mason caught his 900th reception, becoming the 13th receiver in NFL history to do so. In a 2010 game against the Carolina Panthers, Mason and Flacco got into an argument on the sidelines.[7] Mason was reportedly upset that Flacco was late in getting a pass to him. The two apparently settled their differences. Mason had 61 catches for 802 yards and seven scores that season.

When the NFL announced the new collective bargaining agreement on July 25, 2011, the Ravens announced their intention to release Mason upon the start of free agency to free salary cap space.[8] He was formally released by the team on July 28.[9]

New York Jets[edit]

Mason signed with the New York Jets on August 6, 2011.[10] His statistical production was limited. Also, there were some problems in the team locker room. Some said that Mason was a cancer to the team, and that he complained about offensive coodinator Brian Schottenheimer's playcalling. Said Mason, "I never complained to Rex Ryan or Mike Tannenbaum, and I hope that one day it come out who actually did it, but I doubt it." Mason said in a report published by "I never went to Rex or Mike to complain about Brian's play-calling." [11]

Houston Texans[edit]

The Jets traded Mason to the Houston Texans on October 11, 2011, in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.[12] Mason caught only 6 passes for 55 yards. He was later released on December 12.


Mason announced his retirement from football by signing a 1-day contract with Baltimore Ravens on June 11, 2012.[13]

NFL records[edit]

  • All-purpose yards in a single season (2000): 2,659 (broken in 2011 by Darren Sproles)[3]
  • Kick return yards in a single postseason (1999): 437
  • Only player with 10,000 receiving yards and 5,000 return yards

Oilers/Titans franchise records[edit]

  • Most career combined Kickoff and Punt return yards (5,086)[14]
  • Most career All-purpose yards (11,202)[14]
  • Most career Punt returns (182)[14]
  • Most punt returns in a single season: 51 (2000)[14]
  • Most punt return yards in a single season: 662 (2000)[14]
  • Most All-purpose yards in a single season: 2,690 (2000)[14]

Ravens franchise records[edit]

  • Most career receiving yards (5,777)[15]
  • Most career receptions (471)[15]
  • Most receptions in a single season: 103 (2007)[15]
  • Best receptions per game average: 6.4 (2007)[15]
  • Most seasons with 1,000 receiving yards (4)[15]

Pro Bowl records[edit]

  • Most returns in a single game: 8 (2004) (broken by Marc Mariani in 2011 with 9) [16]


Mason and his wife, Marci, were married on June 7, 1997 and have 2 children: daughter, Bailee My-Lin (3-24-1999), and son, Derrick James II (7-11-2003).[1] Marci is the "The Derrick Mason Foundation" organization’s Vice President.

In 2012, Mason was hired as the Wide Receiver's Coach at Ensworth High School in Nashville, Tennessee alongside former teammate, Linebacker's Coach, Lemanski Hall.


  1. ^ a b c d Ravens Player Bio
  2. ^ "NFL Single-Season All-Purpose Yards Leaders". Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Bell, Jarrett (January 6, 2012). "The Bell Tolls: Sproles is Saints' perfect fit". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Mason Shows Toughness,
  6. ^ Warrior Receiver
  7. ^ Derrick Mason and Joe Flacco had to be separated after “heated exchange”
  8. ^ Walker, James (July 25, 2011). "Report: Ravens cutting four big-name vets". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ Ginsburg, David (July 28, 2011). "Ray Lewis breezes through Ravens’ 3-hour practice". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ Cimini, Rich (August 6, 2011). "Jets add WR Derrick Mason". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ Mason: Dysfunctional Jets were a mess
  12. ^ Costello, Brian. "Jets trade Mason to Texans". New York Post. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ One More Interview With Derrick Mason -Baltimore Beat Down Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans Team Encyclopedia". Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Baltimore Ravens Franchise Encyclopedia". Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Mariani sets return records

External links[edit]