Shutdown Corner - NFL

We’re quickly approaching the end of the decade (those Y2K parties seem like yesterday, don’t they?), and soon, it will be time to crown a quarterback of the decade, running back of the decade, receiver of the decade, coach of the decade, team of the decade, etc.

The receiver conversation will come down to three names: Randy Moss(notes), Terrell Owens(notes), and Marvin Harrison(notes). Derrick Mason, who announced his retirement yesterday, won’t be in the conversation, and that’s as it should be. The afore-mentioned named are the right names. But I don’t know if people realize how close Mason lives to the Moss/Owens/Harrison neighborhood.

Since 2000, here’s how they stack up.

Marvin Harrison: 10,439 yards, 791 rec.
Terrell Owens: 10,815 yards, 729 rec.
Randy Moss: 10,475 yards, 694 rec.
Derrick Mason(notes): 9,453 yards, 743 rec.

That’s just 100 yards per season away from being in truly elite company. That’s just a tiny little bit of explosiveness that those other fellows have that maybe Mason didn’t.

So while Mason might not have the household recognition of an Owens or a Moss, he certainly earned the respect of opposing secondaries and fantasy football owners. He could always be grabbed way later than the marquee guys, and his production wasn’t that far off.

He’s probably not going to be an NFL Hall of Famer, but I say he’s a Fantasy Football Hall of Famer. You can’t put a price on consistency like that. And Mason even provided it throughout the Kyle Boller(notes) era in Baltimore.

So here’s to you, Derrick Mason. You may not have had the star power of some others, but know that your contributions were still appreciated by many. When the season finally rolls around, and the Ravens come out with their CFL-quality receiving corps, I’ll pour a little bit out for you.

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