Derrick Mason ponders what it would have been like to play for Patriots

Justin Leger

Even though Derrick Mason enjoyed a stellar NFL career, he still can't help but think about how things could have gone had he signed with the New England Patriots.

The former Titans and Ravens wide receiver caught up with NBC Sports Boston's own Tom E. Curran for a 1-on-1 interview and revealed he visited New England as a free agent in 2005. Mason ended up inking a deal with Baltimore, where he went on to produce several successful seasons, instead.

Now, eight years after retiring from the NFL, Mason admits the thought of Tom Brady throwing him the ball has made him wonder, "what if?"

"I came for a visit, sat down and talked with Bill," Mason told Curran. "I talked with the receivers coach at the time, talked with the GM. I think it was (Scott Pioli). Believe me: I loved my time in Baltimore. That's like my second home. But I think back to, what if I had made that decision to go to New England and play with arguably the greatest quarterback to play the game?

"My time in Baltimore was special. I played with one of the best quarterbacks, my favorite in Steve McNair, (then) Joe Flacco (in Baltimore). But not many times you get to play with a great like Tom Brady. But a lot of other factors came into it. Family and everything else. But I do from time to time think about, man, what it would have been like going to New England?"

A Brady-to-Mason connection would have been a sight to see. The two-time Pro Bowler arguably is the best possession receiver in Ravens history, currently holding franchise records for career receptions (471), career receiving yards (5,777), receptions in a single season (103), and most seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards (4).

As great as his tenure in Baltimore and his entire 15-year career was, Mason never played for a Super Bowl-winning team. That's one area Brady could have helped him in, and it explains why Mason often ponders how his career may have played out if he chose the Pats over the Ravens.

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Derrick Mason ponders what it would have been like to play for Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston