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Mason: Jets were best fit

Derrick Mason had his reasons for taking a while to make a decision, even if it left Rex Ryan and the Jets in limbo for a couple of days.

"I had to keep him on his toes, you know?" the veteran wide receiver cracked at his introductory press conference today. "Nah, I'm just playing. This is an opportunity. I'm coming to the end of my career and I can still play a lot of good football, but I wanted to take every opportunity to try to win a Super Bowl.

"For me, this was the best place to try to do that. I'm familiar with Rex, I'm familiar with a few of these players around here. I've played with them. I'm familiar with this team, playing against them. So, why not join a team that has been to the AFC championship the last two years? After a while, it became a no-brainer."

Mason, who was released by the Ravens Juky 28 in a salary-cap move, was drawing interest from Baltimore and the Titans. But he took the Jets' offer -- Mason said it was for two years -- believed to be for the veteran's minimum of $910,000 a season, which apparently wasn't the most lucrative deal out there for him.

"There were offers," Mason said. "Sometimes you've just got to outweigh. Like I said, I've been in it going on 15 years now and the funds weren't necessarily No. 1 on my list. No. 1 on my list was to win, and win quickly. So, there were other offers from other places, but this was the best fit for me."

Still, it wasn't an easy decision and Mason may have to smooth over a few feelings with his kids. His family lives in Nashville and they had grown accustomed to seeing their father around more than ever before all thanks to the lockout.

"Yeah, my daughter and my son were still upset somewhat because they got used to me being at home," the 15-year veteran said. "For a minute there, I kind of got used to it as well, you know, going to my son's football practices and being with my daughter. I got kind of used to it, too. It was still hard for them to see me walk out that door.

"That's going to continue to weigh on me a little bit as I continue to go, but I know deep down, they're very supportive of what I'm trying to accomplish and like I said, the only thing I want to accomplish now is winning the Super Bowl."

Mason, 37, said he was blindsided by his release last week. But not going back to Baltimore had nothing to do with any ill feelings due to the Ravens cutting him. 

"No, it wasn't. I just felt that -- I believe both teams are very good -- this was the place I needed to be, when it was all said and done," Mason said. "I hold no grudges toward Baltimore. That city, those fans embraced me six years ago, embraced my family and forever I will be appreciative of that. So, I have nothing against Baltimore. It's just that this was the right place for me."

So now that he's in the right place, Mason can get down to work. He arrived with about 30 minutes left in this afternoon practice, so he didn't make it in time to hit the field with his new teammates. But he's eager to do so "ASAP."

"Had I not taken two flights in the last four days, I probably could've been out there today," Mason said. "I will be out there tomorrow. I plan on being out there. Now how much I do, I don't know. Even though I'm familiar with a lot of things playwise, I've still got to get myself refreshed."

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