Mason ends retirement, boosts Ravens

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

The Baltimore Ravens received a shot in the arm offensively when No. 1 receiver Derrick Mason ended his retirement and joined the team for training camp Saturday. It was the best possible scenario for Baltimore, which spent weeks trying to find a replacement after Mason retired.

Mason had been dealing with both shoulder rehab and the passing of his longtime friend and teammate Steve McNair. But Baltimore was convinced Mason could have a change of heart if the organization gave him time, and the Ravens were right.

Mason led the team last year in both receptions (80) and receiving yards (1,037).

The Ravens were caught by surprise last month when Mason announced his retirement. In an effort to find a quick replacement, they signed Drew Bennett to a one-year deal. Bennett also retired two days later, citing a knee injury.

The team had flirtations with other veteran receivers such as Joe Horn and D.J. Hackett. But getting Mason back was clearly the preferred option. He already has good chemistry with second-year quarterback Joe Flacco, and teammates Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams will not have nearly as much pressure on them to produce in support roles.