A year after T.J. Houshmandzadeh signed a five-year deal worth $40 million with $15 million guaranteed with Seattle, the Seahawks are reportedly looking to trade the receiver, who is due to make $7 million guaranteed in 2010. Because of the money he's owned, football executives told NFL.com's Jason La Canfora that "they have no interest in taking on Houshmandzadeh's contract."
Houshmandzadeh told the Seattle Times' Danny O'Neill, when asked if the trade rumors were a surprise:
I don't care. I can't control it. It's kind of out of my control. Like I said, I'm ready for whatever so if it happens - wherever I go - I'm going to make it happen, and if it don't happen, I'll be here, and I'll make it happen. That's how I look at it.
The Dayton Daily News' Ken Paxson remembers a conversation that Houshmandzadeh had with Carlos Holmes last December in which the former Bengals wide receiver said that he actually misses Cincinnati and not to be shocked if the team brings him back.
“I miss it,” Housh said of playing with the Bengals. “The grass ain’t always greener. Let me tell you that.”
T.J. also talked about being “fooled” by the Seahawks.
“I might be comin’ back,” he said. “When they hire this new GM (which Seattle did in June), don’t be shocked. Marvin (Lewis) and me have been keeping a nice little dialogue. He knows.”
Cincinnati recently released veteran wide receiver Antonio Bryant after handing him $7.85 million in guaranteed money without Bryant playing a single game with the Bengals. So it would seem unlikely the Bengals would made a trade like this, which would likely use a draft pick anywhere from the second to middle rounds. There is one point that could be argued, however. If the Bengals are interested in the trade, Cincinnati could negotiate with Houshmandzadeh to help relieve them of the $7 million that Houshmandzadeh will be guaranteed this year. Yea, that seems unlikely to us also.
However, it's hard to argue Houshmandzadeh's production. Through his final three season with the Bengals, Houshmandzadeh averaged 98 receptions, 1,043 yards and over eight touchdowns a season. The question at this point is whether he's needed with the emergence of Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham in the passing game.
Does it seem likely the Bengals trade for him? I doubt it. Along with the contract owed to him, with Cincinnati's most recent financial experiences with Laveranues Coles and Antonio Bryant probably on the team's mind, the Bengals aren't the type of team to make a trade for a high-profile player with one of their coveted high round picks. Furthermore, with the team's roster at wide receiver standing where it stands now, Houshmandzadeh's production would likely dip further than his disappointing 79-receiving season in Seattle last year causing concerns, at least among fans, that his attitude could be a serious disruption inside an otherwise solid lockerroom.