Ravens' Reed, Mason mulling retirement

Updated: January 17, 2010, 5:36 PM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed said Saturday that he's "50-50" on whether he will retire or return to the Baltimore Ravens for another NFL season.

Reed, 31, admits that Baltimore's 20-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts stings and that he doesn't want to make an emotional decision. But after dealing with a serious neck injury for the past few seasons, Reed said that retirement is an option.

"It's 50-50," Reed said. "I got great doctors that I deal with. So I'm going to re-evaluate things and see how it goes. ... At the end of the day, it's my decision to play with injuries going forward for my career."

Ravens No. 1 receiver Derrick Mason also said Saturday night that he's undecided on his playing future.

Mason, 36, completed the final year of his contract with Baltimore and will become a free agent in March.

Reed had groin and foot injuries during the season. He recorded 50 tackles and three interceptions in the regular season and added another interception Saturday against Indianapolis.

Along with linebacker Ray Lewis, Reed has been the heart and soul of the Ravens and their well-respected defense. But the team's most recent defeat seemed to hit Reed harder than most losses.

"It's very tough because these opportunities don't come often," Reed said. "As a player getting older, you don't know how much you can last. So it's hard, man. It's really hard."

Mason briefly retired last summer following the passing of close friend and former teammate Steve McNair. Mason cited the emotional trauma as a major reason he briefly called it quits and admitted that he still has to decide if his heart is into playing.

"I got some months to think about it," said Mason, who led the Ravens this season with 1,028 receiving yards. "I'm not in a rush. If I decide to play, obviously this would be a place that I'll come back to. All the pieces are in place. But I have to think about my two little [children]."

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter