Whether he is traded or released, T.J. Houshmandzadeh will no longer be a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Seahawks are prepared to move forward without Housh:
The Seattle Seahawks will cut ties with T.J. Houshmandzadeh by trading or releasing him, according to two league sources, and it will promote former Detroit first-round draft pick Mike Williams into its starting lineup for a Sept. 12 game against San Francisco.
A trade would obviously be the most preferable option for the Seahawks. By trading Houshmandzadeh, the Seahawks would not only receive compensation – albeit minimal – they would also be able to dump his large contract on another franchise.
But Houshmandzadeh’s contract, signed last year while Tim Ruskell was making decisions, makes a trade unlikely. Houshmandzadeh is guaranteed over $7 million in 2010 and has four years remaining on his original five-year deal.
By releasing Housh, the Seahawks would be on the hook for his guaranteed 2010 salary. Even though Paul Allen’s pockets seem bottomless, $7+ million is a lot to pay a player who isn’t on the team.
In addition to Houshmandzadeh’s guaranteed salary in 2010, Schefter says his contract includes offset language that makes Seattle liable to pay whatever a new team doesn’t:
So if Houshmandzadeh were to sign a veteran minimum deal of $850,000, the Seahawks would be liable for the remaining $6.15 million balance.
Seattle signed Houshmandzadeh to a five-year, $40 million contract last offseason, and Seattle will wind up having paid him $15 million for his one season with the Seahawks.
If the Seahawks are unable to generate a deal, Houshmandzadeh will be able to pick a new team of his choice. And whatever team he chooses will be getting one hell of a bargain, courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks and Paul Allen’s wallet.
By moving on without T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the front office is sending a clear message that their plans are to rebuild for future success. Seattle’s younger players will definitely play a prominent role this season.
With Tim Ruskell gone, none of his former acquisitions are safe. This is John Schneider’s (and Pete Carroll’s) team and only “their” players are protected.
“Sometimes you get a feeling when you’re that stepchild,” Josh Wilson told reporters following his trade to Baltimore. “You have feelings for your stepkids, you want to take care of them, but you don’t care of them like your own kids.”
T.J. Houshmandzadeh was Tim Ruskell’s big-time acquisition, and John Schneider is prepared to move on without him.