And the last major domino falls in the NFL free agent market. Sure, other wide receivers are available, but Derrick Mason is the last prominent target who could really provide a major difference in a team’s passing game. By joining the New York Jets, Mason finds a contender for the Super Bowl as well as some familiar faces with head coach Rex Ryan and defensive players like Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard. However, it’s Mark Sanchez who will benefit most from the signing.
The Jets already brought in a dynamic target for Sanchez, but as a developing quarterback, he can’t have enough safe targets. Mason adds yet another dependable target who has been perhaps the most unheralded receiver in the league in the last 10 years. Last season, he hauled in 800+ yards and 7 touchdowns, even at 36 years old.
Mason chose the Jets over the Ravens at this stage, and it’s clear the Ravens are ready to move on from Mason, cutting him earlier this off-season to lower his salary. There’s no doubt, however, that when Mason retires, Baltimore would do well to retire his number and celebrate him for the incredible wideout he’s been for the last six years with the team — or else the Titans might come in and lay claim.