However, Tennessee is not releasing the two-time Pro Bowler because of lack of production. The team is $27 million over the salary cap and needs to trim that number by March 2nd.
The Bears need an upgrade at receiver and are expected to address the position with the fourth pick in the draft. No matter how talented, a rookie receiver is going to take time to develop. Adding Mason and a Mike Williams or Braylon Edwards would push the rest of the wideouts down the depth chart.
It could also spell the end to David Terrell's time in Chicago. With only $2.5 million under the salary cap it will be difficult to lure Mason, who made a base salary of $3.3 million last season and would have made $3.2 million this year. Terrell has one-year left on his contract at a base salary of $925,000. In four years he's averaged 32 receptions not to mention his immature behavior on and off the field.
There are going to be younger and potentially better options in free agency, but Jerry Porter and Plaxico Burress are going to command money the Bears don't have to spend under the salary cap. The same can be said if Laveranues Coles or Muhsin Muhammad hit the open market.
The addition of three offensive playmakers in the passing game is desperately needed. The Bears finished last in the league through the air by a wide margin and the lack of a downfield threat allowed opponents to stack the line of scrimmage and limit Thomas Jones effectiveness.