Ravens bring back 2021 fifth-round pick on reserve-future deal

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The Ravens are bringing back 2021 fifth-round pick Ben Mason on a reserve-future deal to give the University of Michigan fullback another look this offseason.

After not living up to his draft hype last spring or summer, Mason was waived at the end of the preseason and signed with New England’s practice squad instead of remaining with Baltimore in the same capacity. The 6-foot-3, 254-pound Mason was released by the Patriots in November and finished the 2021 season on Chicago’s practice squad, not appearing in a game for either of those teams.

After the Ravens made Mason the 184th overall pick of the draft last spring, head coach John Harbaugh remarked that the former Wolverine was one of his parents’ favorite players. Of course, Baltimore had no shortage of inside information from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

“He does fit us, our style [and] who we are,” John Harbaugh said on May 1. “I think it’s pretty easy for anybody that’s watched us play — and now that you’ve seen some clips on him — to understand how he’s going to fit into our offense. He’s just a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do in going forward and building what we’re building here on offense.”

Though reserve-future deals are usually inconsequential in the big picture, the Ravens have yet to extend three-time Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. At the time of Mason’s selection, many wondered if he could be Ricard’s eventual replacement, but the 22-year-old would need to show marked improvement from his first offseason with the Ravens to move back into that conversation.

Mason carried the ball five times for 13 yards in last year’s preseason.