The deal ends a quick stint in New York for 37-year-old Mason, who spent the last six seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Jets coach Rex Ryan's former team. Mason signed a two-year deal with the Jets in early August, choosing them over a return with the Ravens or the Tennessee Titans. He had been released by Baltimore before training camp and was expected to fill the spot of the departed Jerricho Cotchery.
Ryan was excited by Mason joining the team and said he expected him to have at least 80 catches as a slot receiver with the Jets. But the veteran got off to a slow start with just 13 catches for 115 yards, and he had just one reception Sunday.
That 7-yard catch made Mason the 18th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 receiving yards.
Ryan explained Monday that Mason saw less time because he wanted to give Kerley, a fifth-round draft pick, more opportunities.
Mason made some critical comments the previous week, saying the team had "cracks" that needed to be fixed. Ryan insisted that had nothing to do with the decision to have Mason sit in favor of Kerley.
"You guys know I have an open policy with the media," Ryan said. "I don't put a muzzle on anybody."
Mason, along with Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, also were mentioned in a New York Daily News report that said the wide receivers had met with Ryan individually during the last few weeks to complain about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. All three receivers denied the report, as did Ryan -- and the team took the rare step of issuing a statement to also say it was untrue.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.