Attached to this story is a cropped photo of WR Mike Mason taken at the Cleveland Browns Rookie Camp in May. Fans interested in momentoes of Mason's career may be advised to save it to your hard drive quickly, as future photos of the receiver wearing Cleveland Browns paraphernalia may be in short supply.
Mason, an undrafted receiver from Tennessee State will find making the team's regular season roster an uphill battle following an alleged late night altercation with off-duty police. According to a report by the Associated Press, Mason was put into custody for a number of different misdemeanors, including aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
This not the first time Mason has had off-field miscues, which reportedly played a role in the receivers decision to transfer to Tennessee State from North Caolina.
The altercation reportedly began when Mason was asked to leave a Cleveland nightclub and refused to put down his drink and leave the premises. The rookie appeared in court on Monday and posted $20,000 bond after being held in custody through the weekend.
Regardless of Mason's less-than-spotless history, the Browns and other teams were intrigued by the quick receiver and kick-off returner, who averaged 31.3 yards on kickoff returns before his final year ran into problems with a PCL injury suffered against Jackson State.
Despite his potential, the off-field mistake likely dooms Mason, as long-shot rookie free agents, alleged late night altercations, and the Cleveland Browns roster rarely mix.
To paraphrase a long-fired NFL head coach and TV analyst: Mason doesn't play in Cincinnati - Mason plays in Cleveland.
A statement from the team over the weekend offered that the organization "takes matters such as these very seriously", a phrase that the OBR roughly translates as "start packing".
Fortunately for Mason, NFL clubs looking for talent will continue to ignore off-field issues in the quest to find it.
Actually, for Mason, it's pretty simple. After leaving the courthouse, take East Ninth street away from the lake to the I-71 exit ramp, and then follow I-71 South for about five hours. If he can keep his foot off the accelerator going through Linndale, opportunity may yet spring forth.