UPDATE: Just as I expressed confusion over Houshmandzadeh's interest with the Seahawks, he's flying to Seattle for a visit. However, a league source tells Pro Football Talk that the market isn't as big, or wealthy, as Houshmandzadeh had expected.
Bengals wide receiver, or about to be Bengals wide receiver, T.J. Houshmandzadeh provided a list of teams that he would like to play for during an interview with ESPN. All four teams are NFC teams; Eagles, Giants, Vikings and Seahawks. Seahawks?
Making media rounds early in February, Houshmandzadeh said:
“To constantly lose and get your plane tickets to go home with four, five, six weeks left in the season, and then watch the playoffs and see guys like Larry Fitzgerald ball out and Santonio Holmes have a great Super Bowl, you just want to be on that stage. That’s the bottom line, you want to get on the stage to show what you can do.”
It's interesting that he listed the Seahawks, if what he said above is true. Is he serious about joining a winner? We're not trying to say anything remotely negative about the Seahawks; however, they did finish the season 4-12 (worse than the Bengals thanks to a tie) and Seattle has a new head coach this season. So it's not like they're considered favorites, even in the NFC West, where the Cardinals won the entire conference.
However, the Seahawks aren't making any splashes in the free agency market, likely not signing top-tier guys, reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Let your mind wander to the possibility of T.J. Houshmandzadeh's prolific hands supplying needed productivity to the passing game.
Now, wake up and smell the reality.
The Seahawks are not going to make a splash when the NFL free agency period begins Friday at a tick past midnight.
"We're not going to be big players," club president Tim Ruskell said. "You're not going to write about us that way.
We understand the Eagles, who have been regulars in the post-season having made seven appearances in the past nine seasons; five in the Conference Championship. We understand the Giants, who won Super Bowl XLII. We kind of understand the Vikings, who have as good a chance as any in their division of making the playoffs -- however, Houshmandzadeh won't figure to get the statistics and contributions like he has with Cincinnati, mostly because Minnesota's quarterback situation is unclear. Ready also listed the Bears. However, if you listened to Houshmandzadeh's interview with ESPN in Chicago, it never seriously appeared that Chicago were front runners.
But the Seahawks?
As it were, there was a shot of optimism when it was reported that the Bengals aren't out of the negotiating table yet. National Football Post broke that the Bengals and Houshmandzadeh are "close to reaching an agreement" arbitrarily claiming that there's a 70% chance.
For those of you that tire of the Houshmandzadeh talk, look, we're sorry. But it's not like we have a list of new free agents that the Bengals are signing or are interested in signing that we know about. The draft is two months away and camps are half a baseball season away. So if there's nothing else to talk about, we're going to talk about the bigger issue affecting the team. And if there's a chance that the Bengals are in contention to re-sign their best wide receiver, then hell yea, we're going to talk about it.