Houshmandzadeh: “CHAMPIONSHIP”


Posted by: Shaun Dolence

So, I’ve spoken with Kennard McGuire, Houshmandzadeh’s agent, and he promised that he will no longer allow his clients to make huge decisions while I’m busy or obligated to other things. Okay, maybe that scenario is a little wishful and sarcastic. But the reason for my late post is legit … right?

Uno Ocho: the jerseys are on sale.

Fortunately for 12th Man Rising, several readers commented the site to break the big news: T.J. Houshmandzadeh is going to be a Seahawk. I couldn’t be more thrilled; T.J. was a player featured (optimistically) on my free agent wish list a few weeks ago.

Since everyone is aware of the news by now, I’m going to blog about Houshmandzadeh as a player instead of breaking the story. I’ll explore what critics are saying (mostly irritated Vikings fans), and what I think he’ll add to the Seahawks.

You know my take: Houshmandzadeh is a great wide receiver who offers size, great route running ability, good football acumen, and one hell of a last name. The statistics prove his dominance, even last year, when he was catching balls from Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Johnson was injured most of the season. He is a very physical receiver who blocks well, uses his size effectively, and plays strong when the ball is in his hands.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, career statistics
SeasonGamesGames StartedReceptionsYardsAverageTouchdowns

So what is there to argue with? Well, go to any Minnesota Vikings message board where fans can post comments and you’ll find a handful. But here are the most relevant:


T.J. Houshmandzadeh is 31 years old, and will turn 32 next September. A lot is being made of his age, but I’m not very concerned. Housh is not a speed guy, nor is he a receiver who depends solely on his athletic ability. He plays with great intelligence on the field, and depends on his superb size, route running, and hands to get an edge over the competition. Would you take a 32 year old Bobby Engram? Okay, that is what I thought.

Think of Houshmandzadeh as a Steve Largent, Jerry Rice, or even Engram type. I’m not proclaiming Houshmandzadeh a future Hall of Famer, but none of the abovementioned receivers relied heavily on their athletic ability, and all of them played very well late into their careers. Hands, intelligence, and size aren’t things that will diminish with age.

Is age really that much of a factor? Here is a list of “old” wide receivers in the NFL last season:

Player Age
ReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
Randy Moss3211691,00811
Terrell Owens3513691,05210
Hines Ward3211811,0437
Derrick Mason3512801,0375
Donald Driver3410741,0125
Isaac Bruce3615618357
Muhsin Muhammad3513659235
Steve Smith298781,4216


The contract Seattle gave Houshmandzadeh has come under a lot of scrutiny, most of which is from outside of Seattle. The Seahawks gave him a five year deal worth $40 million with $15 million in guarantees. A lot of skeptics have argued that it is way too much money, or that a five year deal is outrageous for a player in their thirties.

Look at the market. Supply and demand!

I know it has been argued in Seattle before (Deion Branch), but the current market will affect the value of players, whether with a trade or a new contract. If Seattle doesn’t inflate their contract offer, Houshmandzadeh doesn’t come here. Do you think Seattle was the only NFL city hoping to see T.J. wearing their uniform next season? There are always plenty of suitors willing to overpay players; if you want to sign a top tier free agent, you are going to have to pay him.

If T.J. Houshmandzadeh plays well (and I believe he will) and is successful in Seattle, it will be money well spent.

Second Option

I can’t believe the amount of people who’ve said a comment like, “Seattle just overpaid for a number two receiver.” So just because Houshmandzadeh played alongside Chad Johnson during his tenure with the Bengals, he is a number two receiver? Seattle overpaid him?

How ridiculous. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a starter in this league, and Seattle compensated him appropriately (given his market value). He has consistently contributed like a “number one” receiver, and his statistics don’t lie: the guy can play. If he performs in Seattle like he did in Cincinnati, then he will be worth every penny. If he is on the field producing, does it really matter which starting receiver is number one, two or even three?


I’ve heard a few gripes about Houshmandzadeh’s health, but I wouldn’t consider his durability a concern. Before he was a starter in the league (playing behind Chad Johnson and Peter Warrick), he was sidelined with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss most of the 2003 season. He also had an injury to his hand in 2005 that limited his effectiveness for several games, and a recurring minor foot injury in 2006 that caused him to miss a few early games. Neither injury in 2005 or 2006 halted his production however; Housh tallied 956 and 1,081 yards in both seasons, respectively. In fact, even though he struggled with a hand injury in 2005, he only dropped three passes the entire season – good for a 2.6 dropped pass percentage, best in the NFL.

What else is everyone hearing regarding Housh? What do you think about the signing? From what I’ve read so far, the consensus seems to be positive.