The chase for free agent wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh remains fluid Labor Day morning. His services are in demand and, with a $7 million guaranteed salary in his pocket, Houshman can pick and choose his spot. Will he choose Redskins Park?
Sean Leahy's usatoday.com story casts doubt that the Cincinnati Bengals or Minnesota Vikings are chasing Houshmandzadeh's services. The Bengals replaced Housh with Laveranues Coles last season and replaced Coles with Terrell Owens this season.
The Vikings, who chased Houshmandzadeh last season, found success with Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. The Vikes do have needs. Rice will be out for six weeks or so and Harvin suffers migraine headaches. Vikings head coach Brad Childress is showing more interest in bringing Javon Walker back to the roster than adding Houshmandzadeh, according to Leahy's story.
More encouraging for Redskins fans is Danny O'Neil's post to Seahawks Blog in The Seattle Times. O'Neill talked to someone who talked to TJ. That source says Houshmandzadeh's narrowed his choice to Oakland or Washington.
Houshmandzadeh selected the Seahawks over the Vikings last season for the money and for the thought that Seattle was closer to the playoffs than the Vikings. He based that choice on the team's quarterbacks: Matt Hasselbeck for the Seahawks and Tavaris Jackson (at the time) for the Vikings.
If money's not an issue and prospects carries any weight, Washington has a lot of selling points. Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb have more impressive resumes than Tom Cable and Jason Campbell, or than Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell would have made. Houshmandzadeh can excel as a wide receiver on either of these team's roster, even if his skills have declined.
But Oakland competes in an easier division with only the San Diego Chargers to worry about. Depending on your lifestyle, Oakland-San Francisco might be more alluring, and with easier winters, than D.C. Metro.
The Redskins have one slot open on the practice squad. Adding another wide-out could push someone to that remaining slot. Of the wide receivers, only Brandon Banks would seem to be eligible. He would have to clear waivers and Washington might not be willing to take that risk.
Washington begins practice for the Dallas Cowboys game today. I would think Houshmandzadeh, or anyone, has to be at Redskins Park by tomorrow (Tuesday) to have any chance to play Sunday night. The impact for that game would be small in any case.
Point After: Seattle released Houshmandzadeh because Pete Carroll prefers Mike Williams and Minnesota isn't interested because Brad Childress prefers Javon Walker. Anyone else find that very strange?
Pete Carroll dropping a veteran for Mike Williams has a Steve Spurrier quality that makes me laugh. Seattle is in for a hard season. At least they are telling their fans that they are rebuilding.