NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Mason’s reunion with Rex Ryan lasted just five games.
According to multiple reports, the New York Jets agreed to trade the veteran wide receiver to the Houston Texans on Tuesday night for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
Mason’s role was greatly diminished in New York’s 30-21 loss at New England on Sunday, while rookie Jeremy Kerley mostly assumed his spot as the No. 3 receiver. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the trade.
The deal ends a quick stint in New York for the 37-year-old Mason, who spent the last six seasons with Baltimore, Ryan’s former team. He signed a two-year deal with the Jets in early August, choosing them over a return with the Ravens or the Tennessee Titans. He had been released by Baltimore before training camp and was expected to fill the spot of the departed Jerricho Cotchery.
Ryan was excited by Mason joining the team, and said he expected him to have at least 80 catches as a slot receiver with the Jets. But the veteran got off to a slow start with just 13 catches for 115 yards, and had just one reception — the only pass thrown his way — on Sunday.
Ryan explained Monday that Mason saw less time because he wanted to give Kerley, a fifth-round pick, more opportunities.
“Derrick’s going to still be a part of what we do,” Ryan said. “I just thought we can do some things with Kerley. I think we’re excited (with) the way he’s out there on the practice field and we’ll see going forward.”
Mason made some critical comments the previous week, saying the team had “cracks” that needed to be fixed. Ryan insisted that had nothing to do with the decision to have Mason sit in favor of Kerley.
“You guys know I have an open policy with the media,” Ryan said. “I don’t put a muzzle on anybody.”
In a radio interview Monday, Ryan acknowledged that he had met with Mason late last week, but wouldn’t go into details.
“It was a private conversation,” he said.
Mason, along with Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, were also mentioned in a Daily News report that said the wide receivers had met with Ryan individually during the last few weeks to complain about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. All three denied the report, as did Ryan — and the team took the rare step of issuing a statement to also say it was untrue.
Before the Jets’ game against the Ravens two weeks ago, Mason said he had no bitterness toward his former team and talked about how he wanted to play in New York and for Ryan, with the hope that he could win a Super Bowl ring. But he also acknowledged when he signed with New York that it would be tough to leave his two children back home in Nashville. He flew back home every week when the team had an off day.
Now, Mason will head to Houston, where he can help the Texans’ offense while Andre Johnson recovers from a right hamstring injury. Coincidentally, if he plays this Sunday for the Texans, Mason’s first game will be back in Baltimore.
With his 7-yard catch Sunday, Mason became the 18th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 yards receiving.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)