This is not going to make me the least bit popular here, but I have to float this idea. We all know that we just acquired Anquan Boldin from the Cardinals. It is a large upgrade for us, even with Boldin's injury history and age, and the extension is well worth it for a player of his caliber. One concern raised by many Baltimore fans, although they are all happy with the trade, is Boldin's similarities to Mason (albeit he is younger). Body-wise and and style-wise, Boldin and Mase are similar. The concern is, if we let Mase go, our WR corp is not really upgraded short-term over our WR corp last year. It is basically substituting Mason with Boldin and Washington with Stallworth, neither of which are such great short-term upgrades. And if you consider the money difference between Boldin and Mason, the short-term gain is not so large.
On the other hand, if we bring back Mason, the similar styles of the WR's and the possibility of Mase whining about not getting enough balls thrown his way (ala 2007) are concerns for this team. He also will not be so happy with the Ravens saying he is not much of a priority and letting him float in the wind for a while. So bringing him back might not be a great idea either. That would give us 4 short WR under 6"2, not exactly ideal. (5 if you include Marcus Smith) This would leave us in need of a big, young TE who can catch, so that Flacco could have a big target.
I would like to propose an alternate theory. We have leverage on FA WR's in that we made our big moves and now have a solid, if unspectacular WR corp. That is where T.O. comes in. He is a totally different type of WR than Mason. Where Mason is a 5"11, consistent possession receiver, T.O. is a big 6"3, studly, brash big-play WR. If we hadn't made the trade for Boldin, bringing in T.O. would have been a big risk, banking on a wild-card. Now that we have Boldin in the fold, we would not have to fully rely on T.O. to be our clutch guy. If he makes trouble, we let him go mid-season, not a biggie. So the experiment failed; we still have Anquan. I think he would be fine here with our strong veteran leadership. Give the guy a chance to win the championship that has evaded him his whole career. He played on a bum leg in the SB with Philly and had a great game. He would be an amazing complement to Boldin and Stallworth. We have a 2 year window to win a Super Bowl with Birk, Ray and Reed (if he sticks around, which I think he will for another year or 2) in the fold. After that, this team is going to go through some changes. But until then we have a serious chance to win some bling. Roll the dice Ozzie, give T.O. a 2 year deal.
T.O., even this old version, is still an above average WR. Who do you double team with him and Boldin? Yes, Mason knows the offense and shouldn't be an attitude problem, but he could be in his new role as I stated above. I say give T.O. a chance.
Ravens 2010 WR corp: Boldin, Owens, Stallworth, Clayton, and Marcus Smith.