Former Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason was one of 94 "Modern Era" players and coaches nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Mason, whose eight-year career as a receiver and returner with the Tennessee Titans also will be considered, had 943 catches for 12,061 yards and 66 touchdowns in his career. He caught 471 passes for 5,777 yards in his six seasons in Baltimore — both franchise-best marks — as well as 29 touchdowns. He never missed a game in his Ravens career and still has the team's three best single-season marks for receptions.
"There are not too many places you can go and be embraced the way the city of Baltimore embraced me," Mason said during his retirement news conference. "I will be forever indebted to this city. The decision wasn't hard to retire and then the decision where to retire was just as easy because, like I said, my heart was here. It never left. My body left, but my heart stayed right in these rooms."
Mason is the only player in NFL history with at least 10,000 receiving yards and 5,000 return yards, but just eight receivers have been inducted in the past decade: Marvin Harrison (2016), Tim Brown (2015), Andre Reed (2014), Cris Carter (2013), Jerry Rice (2010), Bob Hayes (2009), Art Monk (2008) and Michael Irvin (2007).
Brown, like Mason, was a returner. His combined kickoff and punt return yardage (4,555) is comparable to Mason's (5,086), but his receiving totals put some distance between them: 1,070 catches, 14,734 yards and 99 touchdowns. Mason was a two-time Pro Bowl selection; Brown earned nine such honors.
Mason is one of 10 first-time nominees -- a group headed by former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
Among the list of returning nominees are former Ravens quarterbacks Steve McNair and Randall Cunningham, as well as others with local ties (linebacker Sam Mills, Baltimore Stars of the United States Football League; punter Sean Landeta, Towson State, Loch Raven).