Like Todd Heap, Derrick Mason didn't see his release from the Ravens coming.
"Was I blind-sided? Yeah, I was, and when you're blind-sided, yeah, you're upset about it," Mason said at his introductory press conference with the New York Jets. "It can be with any job. If you felt that you were going into a situation where you were on the cusp of something special, and you never thought that you would be released, or fired, or what not, you would be a little bit upset, but I had my moment."
Mason added, "After that, I understood it's the business of football. It happened to me before, and it happened to me again. You just have to be able to deal with it as quickly as possible."
Getting cut by the Ravens didn't factor in his decision to join the Jets, according to Mason.
"I just felt that this was the place I needed to be when it was all said and done," Mason said. "I hold no grudges towards Baltimore. That city, those fans embraced me six years ago, embraced my family. Forever I will be appreciative of that. So I have nothing against Baltimore. It was just that this was the right place for me."
So, what will be Mason's role on a team that has Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress?
"His role is not to come in here as the No. 3 receiver," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "He's going to come in and build on what we already have with our first two guys and be right there with them. It's those three in the starting group."
Mason said Ryan, who was a Ravens assistant for a decade, was influential in his decision.
"I felt like I was in college again," Mason said. "When you have someone sitting across from you that understands and knows your work, and knows that you can play this game, and still play it at a high level, and respects that, that means a lot. That's what Coach Rex basically echoed to me. 'You still can play this game. I've seen tape of you last year. You still can play this game at a high level and you can help us.' That's all it took, was someone else believing that you could still play this game. So, like I said, why not come down here with the big fella and try to win a championship?"
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