Before the Los Angeles Rams ever had Todd Gurley, they had another hopeful star running back. His name was Tre Mason. Drafted in the third round, Mason looked to be the Eddie George to Jeff Fisher, and after his first season, that looked like it might be the case.
The rookie running back rushed for over 700 yards and four touchdowns and looked to be the team’s future at the position. Months later, he was not. The Rams drafted Gurley from fellow SEC school Georgia and Mason went off the rails.
In 2016, he rushed for just 207 yards on more than 100 fewer attempts. Overnight Mason went from NFL star to NFL role player.
The running back was caught doing 75 in a 35 driving his Maserati. He had several interactions with the police leaving his mother concerned. When training camp arrived in 2016, Mason never showed up. For the first time since then, Mason has spoken out in a story on Bleacher Report by Tyler Dunne.
According to the story and reports, Mason was AWOL at least according to Jeff Fisher, who said the team tried to reach Mason “numerous times” but that he “made a decision not to communicate with us, not to talk.”
The Rams, Fisher said then, were “more concerned about Tre Mason’s well-being” than his football career.
In response to those reports Mason said in the story,
“How would they call it nowadays? Fake news. ‘Oh, we just hope he’s OK.’ You come to Florida and find out. Fly your ass down. Sit next to me right on this beach, eat some food and you’ll see. You tell me. I’m not going to sugarcoat for nobody. If you’re really worried about me, fly your ass down.”
Dunne wrote Mason’s account that said coaches would promise “X” number of carries, and then he’d spend practically all of Sunday standing idly on the sideline.
“I’m not going to be used as a puppet. I want to leave a great legacy. I don’t want to just be thrown to the side and ate up by the business of football. You know your worth. I was always told, ‘Know your worth.’ I’m not going to say I’m Albert Einstein and have all the answers. But I know what I’m capable of doing.”
For the Rams he still has questions. Mason says,
“What are you trying to do? If you want to win a championship, let me know. I don’t have time for these games. This bullshit. … I’ve had enough people lie to me in my life. I ain’t got time for no more.”
Mason according to Dunne calls the Rams a “clown show” more than once.
“Of course it’s difficult to step away from something you’re so passionate about. This is what I really want to do. This is what I love to do. But it’s also, you have to be smart about the situation of ‘OK, I do know there are 32 teams in the NFL. Maybe one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
This is a very interesting piece on Mason on what he’s up to now. However, and more importantly, it’s just good to know that he’s ok, doing seemingly well, and is happy.
He’s clearly still upset at the Rams for how they treated him and it’s hard to blame him. Mason did a fine job in his rookie year and the team casted him aside. The Auburn running back had it all and lost it with no reasoning.
Still, this is just one side of the story. We’ve heard the Rams’ side on how they reached out to Mason, and now we see Mason’s side. Most likely, the truth is somewhere in between. We at Downtown Rams wish Mason the best of luck and hope he gets a chance with another team.