Let's first look at how big a loss this is to the Ravens.
Last year, Mason had 80 catches for 1,037 and 5 TD's. Amazing numbers for a 34-year-old, but not overly spectacular otherwise. But what about the other options in their offense?
Mark Clayton - 41 catches, 695 yards, 3 TD
Todd Heap - 35 catches, 403 yards, 3 TD
Demetrius Williams - 13 catches, 180 yards, 1 TD
Yamon Figurs - 1 catch, 43 yards, 1 TD
Daniel Wilcox - 5 catches, 19 yards, 2 TD
And of course... coming over from Philly...
LJ "Questionable" Smith - 37 catches, 298 yards, 3 TD
With the signing of LJ Smith, Ravens coach (and former Eagles' assistant) John Harbaugh has already shown that he will bring in players with whom he's familiar. So what about an Eagles WR?
This has been posted here several times, but the Eagles have a major log-jam at WR. Here's what we've pretty much agreed on...
- Because of the extreme depth at the position, the Eagles are likely to keep 6 wide receivers.
- Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett will be battling for the 5th WR spot. Brown is probably the better receiver, but Baskett gives you more on special teams.
- 6th round pick Brandon Gibson will likely be "redshirted."
So why not get something in return for one of our WR's at the back of the depth chart that could serve as another team's #3, or in this case, the Ravens' #2? It would enable the Eagles to only keep 5 receivers, and the extra roster spot could be used on other equally deep areas of our team, such as in the secondary, defense line, etc.
First of all, let's look which player might generate more interest...
Of Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett, I'd have to think teams would be more interested in Reggie Brown. Clearly, he was awful last year, as he had his worst season in the NFL with 18 catches for 252 yards and 1 TD. However, Harbaugh didn't witness Brown's 2008 in person. But in his first 3 years in the NFL (with Harbaugh watching), Brown was very much on his way toward being a solid #2 in the NFL...
2005 (rookie year) - 43 catches, 571 yards, 4 TD
2006 - 46 catches, 816 yards, 8 TD
2007 - 61 catches, 780 yards, 4 TD
Are there better options out there?
Well, let's look at the WR's that we've beaten to death over the past 5 months... Brandon Marshall wants out of Denver, but Denver has no incentive to deal him (unless they received an OVERWHELMING offer), Braylon Edwards plays in the same division as the Ravens, so don't expect the Browns to deal him to a divison rival. And I think we all know Anquan Boldin isn't going anywhere by now. Other than that, Marvin Harrison could serve as a one-year band aid, but little more.
What could we reasonably get for Reggie Brown?
2nd round picks are like gold in the NFL - That's not happening. But a 3rd round pick? For a still somewhat young WR (28 years old, only 4 full NFL seasons), that would immediately step in as the starter opposite Mark Clayton, and could possibly use a change of scenery to rejuvinate his career? I don't think a 3 would be out of the question.
So you're the GM... Make the call...