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Mason Wants Contract Extension

Interesting news yesterday from the Baltimore Sun.

Pushing hard for a contract extension, Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason intimated he would want to be released if he didn’t receive one.

Mason, 35, has been the team’s only dependable receiver, leading the Ravens in catches for three of his four seasons with them.

He is entering the final year of his five-year, $20 million contract. His agent has approached the Ravens about a new contract, Mason said.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be back,” Mason told the NFL Network last week.

He added: “So if we can get that deal done, then that will be great. But if not, then we have to explore other options after that. I don’t know where this thing is going to end, but I think I’ve earned the right by what I’ve done on the field – and off the field – for the last four years with the Ravens.”

General manager Ozzie Newsome declined to comment yesterday when asked whether the Ravens would consider extending Mason’s contract.

Personally, I can’t see Mason’s demands holding much water. I can see why he’d want an extension now as it’s what’s in his best interest and he’s been the team’s top target since he was signed. But the fact remains that he is signed and they don’t have to re-up anything.

Receiver has been a tricky position for Baltimore ever since they began as a franchise. They began with a potent air attack with the tandem of Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander in 1996. Since then the spot has been a hodge podge of castoffs (Justin Armour), draft busts (Travis Taylor) and overachievers (Quadry Ismail) until Mason arrived.

In fact the most telling statistic might be that the leading reciever in franchise history is Todd Heap, a Tight End. But, Mason has filled an important role in the Ravens offense. He runs consistent routes, has excellent hands and provides toughness and leadership. This past season he excelled again as Joe Flacco’s security blanket.

But, is he worth giving a contract extension? He’s 35 and his only knock is an inability to get separation deep downfield. In the end I see the Ravens sitting tight and having him play out his deal though I don’t feel he will be quiet about it. So, what do you think, should the team give Mason an extension?

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