Tennessee Titans: 30 greatest players in franchise history
By John Buhler
- First-Team All-Pro (2000)
- 2x Pro Bowl (2000, 2003)
- 453 career receptions w/Oilers/Titans
- 6,114 career receiving yards w/Oilers/Titans
- 37 career touchdowns catches w/Oilers/Titans
Derrick Mason first came to the franchise in 1997 as a fourth-round selection out of Michigan State. The Oilers had just left Houston and were playing in Tennessee under the same nickname until they were officially rebranded as the Titans in 1999. Mason ended up spending the first half of his NFL career with the Oilers/Titans franchise.
During his first three years in the league, Mason was mostly a return specialist for the Oilers/Titans. However, he would have his breakout season the year after the Titans’ Super Bowl XXXIV appearance in 2000. Mason may not have been a part of the Music City Miracle, though he does say that he almost was.
Regardless, Mason became an exceptional receiving talent during entire 2000s, split between the Titans and the Baltimore Ravens. 2000 saw Mason have 69 catches for 895 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver. He made his first of two career trips to the Pro Bowl that fall, due in large part to his brilliant year in the return game.
Mason led the NFL in punt returns with 51, punt return yardage with 662 and all-purpose yards with 2,690. This helped Mason make his only All-Pro First Team in his 15-year NFL career. While he remained a reliable return man during his NFL career, Mason eventually became an elite receiver in the process.
Mason went over 1,000 receiving yards in his final four years with the Titans. He did three more times with Baltimore from 2007 to 2009. Mason split his 15th and final NFL season with the Houston Texans and the New York Jets in 2011 before retiring at the age of 37.
In eight seasons with the Oilers/Titans, Mason accumulated 453 receptions, 6,114 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns. Add in his stellar six-year stint in Baltimore, and Mason’s career numbers are better than you’d think. He finished with 943 catches for 12,061 yards and 66 touchdowns. Though not a Pro Football Hall of Famer, his numbers are a testament to his productivity in his lengthy stays with both Tennessee and Baltimore.