In what was a sudden announcement, Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason has decided to retire after 12 NFL seasons.
“On Friday July 10, I received a call from my client Derrick Mason,” agent C. Lamont Smith told the Baltimore Sun, “and he advised me that after careful and deep thought he had made a decision to retire from professional football.”
Smith added that he “emotionally and physically he did not feel up to the enormous demands that professional football requires.”
He went on to say that Mason’s announcement was delayed out of respect for his friend and former teammate Steve McNair, who was murdered by his girlfriend earlier this month.
Mason was an underrated fantasy wide receiver, posting 1,000-plus yards in seven of his final eight seasons between Tennessee and Baltimore. He was also a tremendous asset in PPR leagues, recording 80 or more catches five times since 2003.
With the veteran wideout out of the mix, the Ravens are left with a very thin wideouts corps. That won’t help the stock of quarterback Joe Flacco, who loses his top option in the pass attack.
Mark Clayton figures to be the team’s top receiver and could lead the team in targets next season. While his value will rise across the board, anyone who’s owned Clayton in the past knows that he’s always lacked a consistent level of production.
The player who’s value increases the most is Demetrius Williams.
He should start opposite Clayton (barring setbacks from ankle surgery). Now a low-end sleeper candidate, Williams should be seen as a viable later-round pick in all drafts.
That is, of course, assuming Mason doesn’t have a change of heart or general manager Ozzie Newsome doesn’t pull off a deal for Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall.
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