T.J., T.J., T.J. Tisk, tisk, tisk.
So Houshmandzadeh talks all sorts of glowing love with Philadelphia, saying if they want him, to call him. If they want him, he'll be there. Blah, blah, blah.
However, the Eagles aren't happy with Houshmandzadeh right now.
According to Derrick Gunn on Comcast SportsNet, the Eagles didn't react kindly to an effort by Houshmandzadeh to dupe the team into thinking that he was offering Philly a discount. After checking around, the Eagles reportedly learned that Houshmandzadeh's agent was actually asking for more money from the Eagles than from other teams.
Per Gunn, the Eagles previously had little interest in Houshmandzadeh. The alleged bait-and-switch routine ensured that the Eagles won't make a play for him.
Meanwhile, league observers continue to believe that Houshmandzadeh won't strike it as rich as he'd prefer. As Howard Balzer of The Sports Xchange pointed out to me earlier in the day, Houshmandzadeh will be 32 later this year. To put it bluntly, guys in their 30s rarely get rich in the early days of free agency.
You see the irony in all this, don't you? What's the old phrase, if the bird leaves the nest and then returns?
On Thursday evening, I had no reason to believe that Houshmandzadeh would figure into Cincinnati. Because of this, I decided to do things away from the computer so I could placate others, convincing them that I'm not turning into TRON. Then, as we went to bed on Thursday, I thought to myself, "all right, there's a shot."
On Friday, nothing happened. Houshmandzadeh got nervous, and reports started surfacing, mostly through speculation of inaction that there just wasn't a market for him. Now, after the above story, one has to believe that Houshmandzadeh wakes up Saturday morning thinking, "What the hell am I going to do now?" It's embarrassing for him, after watching so much free agency hype (not really from us, just, everyone else) turn into one confirmed story that he took a flight to 4-12 Seattle.
Even though Free Agency tends to last longer than 24 hours (however our interest kind of wanes after a few days), we figure the longer he goes unsigned, the bigger chance we have to retain him. You have to consider the report that there was a 70% chance that he returns. That's not to say the arbitrary percentage is a true number, only that Houshmandzadeh is taking the Bengals (somewhat) seriously again.
I know what Houshmandzadeh can do. He can come back to Cincinnati. The Bengals give him a fair market deal that doesn't damage the cap, and Houshmandzadeh can play for the Bengals for 3-4 more years. All will be forgiven and we have the league's best #2 wide receiver again.
Look, I know some of you don't care about Houshmandzadeh and have the mind set of adios amigo. However, let's be fair. Houshmandzadeh is in his early 30s, right now in prime position to score his biggest contract. He's doing nothing more than any NFL player would, and has, done. So I'm going to say this: if there's a positive chance that the Bengals can bring him back, I'm behind it 100%. If something doesn't happen, it doesn't.
I'm fine with either result.