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Bengals be damned to be convinced that Houshmandzadeh should be highest priority

Since I've bombarded the site with posts, and since a new episode of the Simpsons and Family Guy sits patiently in my DVR, and since I'm on my last cigarette and since my two liter of Mountain Dew was washed down with my last chicken sandwich (can't you hear Tuesday's Gone starting in the background?), this should be my last post for Sunday.

Through 10 games, T.J. Houshmandzadeh has recorded 73 receptions for 726 yards and four touchdowns. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a free agent after this year.

After his 12-reception, 149 yards receiving performance against the Eagles, Houshmandzadeh is on pace for 117 receptions and 1,161 yards receiving. Surprisingly, this performance only mirrors his best of the season against the Giants (12 receptions, 146 yards, TD). Against three NFC East teams, Houshmandzadeh is averaging 10.3 receptions, 126.7 yards and all four touchdowns were scored against the Eagles (1), Cowboys (2) and Giants (1). T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a free agent after this year.

Since his three-reception week-two performance against the Titans, Houshmandzadeh hasn't recorded less than six receptions -- and since the Cowboys, he's recorded at least seven receptions in six straight games, and eight receptions or more in three of the past four games. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a free agent after this year.

Of his 12 receptions Sunday, eight picked up first down and a touchdown. Of those eight, three were on third down. As of Sunday night, Houshmandzadeh leads the NFL in receptions (73) and fourth in receptions that lead to first down (43). How in the world does Houshmandzadeh lead the NFL in any offensive catagory? But he does, and not by accident. Houshmandzadeh isn't our game-breaker, he's our drive-sustainer. And T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a free agent after this year.

I've said in the past that I don't think that the Bengals could re-sign him. We figured that the Bengals figure that the money he'd command (or the money available to him through the demand in free agency) for being (hypothetically) a second-wide receiver and not a team's primary, would essentially mean that team won't make an effort. Talks have happened. But they were short and quick.

First off, he's not a "second wide receiver". He's the Bengals best receiver. Not a game-breaker, no (that spot has yet to be filled this season). But he's always open, fighting hard for two yards for a first down and always willing to take a shot. He's a leader, fighter, and boy, he's a spirited scrapper. Houshmandzadeh should be the team's first and highest priority this off-season. If not for a multi-year contract, then the franchise tag.

Game Day posts (in case you missed them)

Offensive line problems | Undefeated in November | Bengals could be selecting sixth by next Sunday | On the Frostee Rucker no-score | Initial Reaction | Open Thread I | Open Thread II