Mason still on road to recovery

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens receiver Derrick Mason has been the center of a lot of conversation this offseason.

Mason is recovering from a shoulder injury. He also publicly stated he wants more security with a contract extension, and the depth behind him has been the subject of debate.

Yet, Mason was his usual lively self during the first day of Baltimore's mandatory minicamp. He admits he is still not 100 percent but was out participating in some, not all, of the drills with his teammates.

"It's a good thing I don't have to play; it's May," Mason said candidly. "If it was the Super Bowl, of course I would play. But it's May and I'm just trying to do what I need to do to get better.

"Am I where I want to be? No, I'm not because I'm not fully healthy."

Mason was the team's leading receiver last year with 80 catches for 1,037 yards. He didn't have much help in the passing game as the next leading receiver was Mark Clayton, who had just 41 receptions.

To help fill the gaps, the Ravens added tight end L.J. Smith to pair with starter Todd Heap. The speedy Demetrius Williams also is returning from injury, and the team is trying out three veteran receivers this weekend in Jerry Porter, Kelley Washington and Tab Perry with the goal of being a more complete offense.

"It's only going to help us," Mason said. "Now you have to pay attention a lot more to those guys than the guys who are outside."