The stories that wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh will not return to the Seattle Seahawks isn't quite news, but is beyond rumor. Stories that he may be headed to the Washington Redskins are rumors, but entirely credible. As things stand today, Saturday morning, the Redskins receiving corps is not the equal of last year's group. The Skins have to do something.
NFL teams must reduce their roster to 53 men by 6:00 P.M. ET today, so news of a trade or free agent signing could happen any moment.
Since the 2004 season, Houshmandzadeh has caught no fewer than 73 passes per year. He had 79 receptions for 911 yards and three touchdowns last year in Jim Mora, the younger's, short run in Seattle.
The Redskins haven't announced their final 53 man roster yet, perhaps because player acquisitions are still happening. Here's what circulating around the blogosphere:
Pete Carroll wants to move Houshmandzadeh because the 32-year-old veteran is taking snaps from Seattle's young receiver talent. That implies the Seahawks are in a rebuilding year and aren't afraid to show it--unlike the Redskins who are in a rebuilding year but insist they are planning to "win now." In any event, the Skins don't have young talent to develop.
Houshmandzadeh is guaranteed $7 million this year. That deal inhibits a trade with the four or five teams that might be interested. Houshmandzadeh's contract has offset language whereby, if he is signed as a free agent, Seattle must make up the difference between what his new team pays him and his guarantee.
A StarTribune.com story by Judd Zulgad notes that Houshmandzadeh assessed the quarterback situation at potential teams before he signed with Seattle last year. The StarTribune covers the Minnesota Vikings and Housh signed with Seattle before Brett Favre signed on with the Vikes. The Redskins can tout Donovan McNabb in their bid for Houshmandzadeh's services.
Zulgad also said Seattle is releasing Houshmandzadeh to clear cap room to sign disgruntled San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson. Let's be a little skeptical of that one. We don't know what the salary cap will look like next year, or even if there will be one. The owners and player's union are hashing that out now. Jackson and the Chargers are at an impasse. Dropping Houshmandzadeh in hopes of getting Jackson makes no sense...unless Seattle is 99 percent done in a deal with Jackson.
Last month, we gave six reasons why Vincent Jackson won't help the Redskins this year. Reason No. 2 was that Jackson would end up in Seattle. Houshmandzadeh is as sure a 70+ reception guy as you can find. Why would Seattle, or Washington, prefer Jackson to him? Because Jackson is 27 while Housh is 32. If a team can sell its fans on rebuilding, they can bet on the come. By that I mean Seattle can risk losing a sure handed receiver in return for someone who won't help much this season but has a big upside over a five year horizon.
The Redskins have never said they are rebuilding. They have just as much interest in Jackson as Seattle, but a lot Bruce Allen's player acquisitions have been veterans that averaged-up the team's age. Houshmandzadeh fits that profile.
Jackson is demanding a five year, $50 million contract, $30 million guaranteed, from the Chargers, Seahawks, Redskins, or whatever team signs him. The Chargers gave the Seahawks permission to talk to Jackson's agent in mid-August.
Scott Edwards at RedskinsRule.com blog suggests the the Redskins would cut Joey Galloway if they sign Houshmandzadeh.
This post can't end without reference to the greatest fantasy football commercial of all time. "Who's your mama" still cracks me up.