Posted by: Shaun Dolence
Player: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
The Reason: If you watched the Seahawks at all last year, you understand how bringing in a wide receiver would be beneficial. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is proven Pro Bowl receiver whose recent success has come primarily as the number two receiver behind Chad Johnson in Cincinnati. At 6′1″, 199 pounds, Houshmandzadeh is a big target that has been missing from our offensive attack.
The Seahawks will most likely let go of Koren Robinson and may not resign Bobby Engram, adding to the already challenging predicament at the wide receiver position. Because of this, many people are expecting the Seahawks to draft Michael Crabtree, a value at number four that would also help to address the obvious receiver need. If they don’t bring anyone in, the Seahawks are left with only two “solid” receivers, Nate Burleson and Deion Branch, who have yet to do anything spectacular since joining the Seahawks, despite popular belief. Branch has never posted a 1,000-yard receiving season in his career, and Burleson has accomplished the feat only once: in 2004 with the Minnesota Vikings.
Enter Houshmanzadeh, who has caught 445 balls over the past five years – good for 36 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards. Bringing in Housh would not only solidify our receiving corps, but it would also open up other possibilities at the number four pick – a favorable scenario with Crabtree climbing up a lot of draft boards. Houshmandzadeh, a favorite of fantasy football enthusiasts, would instantlyprovide Hasselbeck with a go-to receiver that has seemingly been absent the past few years.
The Problem: Unbeknownst to some, Housh will turn 32 this September. So even though he has put up outstanding numbers the past half-decade, it is questionable how much longer he’ll be able to perform at a high level. If youth is a favorable route, then we’re probably better off drafting a receiver or looking elsewhere.
If the Bengals let Houshmandzadeh walk, it is likely a lot of clubs will line up for his services. With such demand, he’ll almost certainly command a large contract; not to mention he has been to the Pro Bowl and has had success in recent years (even without Carson Palmer throwing the ball). Would it be a good move to throw a lot of money at an aging veteran receiver?
Bottom Line: The Bengals are likely to make every effort to retain Houshmandzadeh, easily one of the league’s best receivers. If they choose not to tag him with the franchise designation or are unable to sign him, however, Houshmandzadeh WILL hit the open market.
I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Seahawks brought in Houshmandzadeh; I would actually be thrilled if he decided to come to Seattle. Rumor has it that the Seahawks may have some interest in Houshmandzadeh, and I don’t see why there wouldn’t if the deal makes sense financially. I definitely don’t want to go through another season depending on unproven players like Obomanu, Taylor, Payne, and others.
Other Options: Antonio Bryant (Buccaneers), Lance Moore (Saints), Reggie Williams (Jaguars), Amani Toomer (Giants), Bryant Johnson (49ers), Devery Henderson (Saints), Hank Baskett (Eagles), Nate Washington (Steelers), Malcom Floyd (Chargers), Michael Clayton (Buccaneers)