After reportedly complaining about his playing time and participating in just five of 53 snaps in New York’s latest game, Derrick Mason has been traded from the Jets to the Houston Texans, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
The 37-year-old was having a disappointing first season in New York. After he caught just two passes in a Week 4 loss to Baltimore, the NY Daily News reported that Mason and fellow receivers Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress bitched to head coach Rex Ryan about their lack of involvement in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense.
Then, on Sunday, it appeared as though the veteran was benched in favor of rookie Jeremy Kerley. Kerley caught three passes for 35 yards, while Mason made only one catch in limited playing time.
Obviously the Jets feel Kerley can do Mason’s job without causing a headache, which is why the move makes a lot of sense for them. As for the Texans, this is an indication that the team lacks confidence in Jacoby Jones, who struggled with only one catch while trying to fill Andre Johnson’s clown-like shoes in a Week 5 loss to Oakland.
While Johnson is out with a hamstring injury, Mason, Jones and Kevin Walter will presumably battle for playing time, with Bryant Johnson possibly getting additional looks as well.
It’s tough to tell if this is an indication that the Texans are worried about Johnson’s injury keeping him out for an extended period of time. They could have used additional depth at wideout prior to Johnson getting hurt, and the problems Jones had on Sunday might have heightened those concerns.
Per McClain, the Texans sent a conditional draft pick to New York in exchange for Mason, which likely means he won’t cost them much. Considering how effective Mason can be in the right system, that’s a worthwhile gamble. With Matt Schaub running the show and the running game rolling, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the two-time All-Pro become an important cog in a dangerous offense.