Derrick Mason

August 28, 2009 · 1 comment

in NFL

Derrick MasonDerrick Mason, not typically in the HoF discussion, has quietly assembled a solid career as wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens. After a brief retirement, Mason will return to the Ravens for the 2009-10 season looking to finish what he started. Can he continue where he left off with 1000+ yards seven out of his last eight seasons? How does Mason stack up against other wide receivers of his generation? Will Derrick Mason have enough left in his tank to make it to the Hall?

Receiving KO Return Punt Return
G REC YDS Y/G AVG TD KR KR YDS KR TD PR PR YDS PR TD
186 790 10061 54.1 12.7 52 156 3496 1 182 1590 2
Awards
  • 2 Pro Bowl Selections (2000, 2003)

No Hall

by Matt Thompson

If you are surprised we chose Derrick Mason for a debate, well...you should be. Or if you are like me, Mason has always been a solid number two option for your fantasy team in maybe the 7th or 8th round.  Then ESPN showed a stat that came out of no where—Mason has the third highest number of receptions since 2001.  Sneaky, Derrick Mason.

On top of that, solving the receiver shortage in the Hall of Fame is no easy task.  When reviewing the post-1980 receivers in the Hall, you have Art Monk, Michael Irvin, Steve Largent, and James Lofton. There are a handful of guys that made the Hall who started their careers in the mid-70s and played to the mid-80s, but I think we can agree this is a way different NFL.  Back then guys played football then moved furniture in the offseason because they needed cash, not because it was an offseason training program.

If you look at those four WRs already in the Hall, here are their stats:

Player G REC Yds TD
Lofton 233 764 14004 75
Largent 200 819 13089 100
Monk 224 940 12721 68
Irvin 159 750 11904 65
Mason 186 790 10061 52

You could make an educated guess and say the minimum you need to get in the Hall is to be slightly better than Irvin.  And this is a minimum because Irvin has three rings and is on TV all the time. TV helps.  You are always in front of writers, and the way ESPN glorifies every player on their network, you get some extra atta-boys and that goes a long way.  If you read any of my other posts you know how I feel about championships.

Derrick Mason has some great numbers—186 games, 790 receptions, 10,061 yards and 52 TDs.  Mason also served as a kick return guy early in his career and amassed another 3,500 return yards with 1 TD.

The problem with Mason is his output versus Irvin's.  In 27 more games, he barely has more receptions, almost 2,000 less yards and 13 fewer TDs.  The best Mason can do is play two more years in which he should finish with 925 receptions,  11,500-12,000 yards, and 60 TDs (Mason has never had more than 9 TDs in a single season).

Comparing Mason to the stars of his generation, he is not even close. Terrell Owens and Randy Moss have far more yards (Owens with over 14,000 and Moss with over 13,000) and both have more than double the amount of TDs than Mason.

Derrick Mason is a consistent option at WR.  His career has been exceptional considering he is 5 foot 10 and played on teams that were defense first and when the offense got the ball, it was a run-first-pass-if-we-had-to philosophy. Unfortunately, he is what I thought he was every year in the 7th round of fantasy football...a great option for my number two WR.

No Hall for Mason.

No Hall

by Jonathan Brown

When Matt first brought forth the idea of writing about Derrick Mason, my first reaction was..."Who?"  I'm being facetious, but really, who knows anything about Derrick Mason other than he's a wide receiver and he played for the Titans for quite a few years and now plays for the Ravens?

I figured I would have to write my "The Catcher in the Rye" of Hall or No Hall posts to make a case for his bust appearing in Canton, and honestly, I'm not that good of a writer.  What's the saying...something about lipstick on a pig?

That's not a dig on Mason, who is a handsome man, but quite frankly, his career has been middle-of-the-road and he's flown way under the radar.  He's playing in an era chalk full of loud-mouth show-offs like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and Chad Johns...err Ocho Cinco.  But I have to give Derrick the consideration he deserves.

Upon first glance at Mason's career numbers, they look okay.  Nothing is blowing my mind here.  I need some context in the form of recent HoF inductees to get a better picture.  Let's take a look at Michael Irvin (Class of '07) and Art Monk (Class of '08).

Player G REC Yds AVG TD
Monk 224 940 12721 13.5 68
Irvin 159 750 11904 15.9 65
Mason 186 790 10061 12.7 52

As I mentioned in my Steve McNair post, Canton loves astronomical statistics or championships. Art Monk and Michael Irvin both have three rings and rather pedestrian statistics.  Derrick Mason has no championships, and through the 2008-09 season, less numbers than Monk and Irvin.  Even with better numbers than Irvin, it took Monk a long time to get into the Hall.  That does not bode well for Derrick Mason.

Given that Mason was in retirement in July but decided to come back means he doesn't have that many good years left.  He needs another couple 1,000-yard seasons to seriously enter the discussion, a feat he's accomplished seven out of his last eight years.  For the sake of argument, let's assume he can squeeze another two seasons out of his body and is able to put up  typical Mason-like years—about 1,072 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Currently he's #30 on the all-time receiving yards list.  So projecting about 2,000 yards and 10 touchdowns should move him up to about #17—just above Irvin.

But the list of receivers who are not in the Hall of Fame ahead of Mason on the all-time list reads like a who's who of wide receivers—Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown, Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens, Cris Carter, Henry Ellard, Randy Moss, Andre Reed, Torry Holt and Jimmie Smith. Those guys already have better numbers than Mason and some of them have championships to boot.

I'm afraid I've just run out of ways to make Mason look like a HoFer.  He's only 35 years old and part of his reason for returning was an "intense fire inside" to finish it.  If Derrick can muster up another three seasons of solid play like he has the last nine, maybe we can have this HoF discussion again.  But for now, given what we know, we'll have to close the book on Mason.  Sorry, Derrick, No Hall!

Derrick Mason: Hall or No Hall

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