To play nevermore: Mason retires a Raven

5:20 PM, Jun 11, 2012   |    comments
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Owings Mills, MD (Sports Network) - Derrick Mason finally decided to hang up the cleats for good on Monday. He did so as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Mason did so despite an acrimonious departure, released by Baltimore prior to the outset of last season. He was then signed by the Jets and traded to the Houston Texans, finishing with just 170 yards on 12 receptions in 12 games.

The 38-year-old was selected with the 98th overall pick in the fourth round of the 1997 draft by Tennessee and spent eight seasons there before moving on to the Ravens.

He finished with 12,061 receiving yards and 66 touchdowns on 943 receptions over 230 games for four teams. Once a feared special teams performer, Mason added 1,590 yards and two TDs on 182 punt returns and returned a kickoff for a score as well.

Mason briefly considered a permanent retirement in July of 2009, days after the death of close friend and former Titans teammate Steve McNair, but ultimately returned.

The native of Detroit and Michigan State product completes a 15-year career as the Ravens' all-time franchise leader in receiving yardage (5,777) and catches (471), owning the franchise's top three single-season reception records with 103 in 2007, 86 in 2005 and 80 in 2008.

He is the only player in NFL history to gain 5,000 total return yards and 10,000 yards receiving.

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