They wined him. They dined him. They everything but signed him.
After a couple of days of getting the hopes up of Vikings fans, T.J. Houshmandzadeh
and his agent opted to accept a deal from the Seattle Seahawks reportedly worth $40 million over five years with $15 million of that guaranteed.
The deal was significantly longer than the Vikings were allegedly looking to do (three years) and more money that they were willing to spend. While Houshmandzadeh's agent should be commended for working teams like the Seahawks, Vikings and Bengals against each other, the Vikings should be commended for using restraint and not getting involved in a bidding war in which they could have overspent.
There's no questioning Housh's ability – over the last four years nobody has caught more passes – but the truth is that he is a possession receiver who ideally is a No. 2 target. Chad Johnson
was the go-to deep threat in Cincinnati. Bernard Berrian
has that job with the Vikings. Adding Houshmandzadeh would have been a boon to the Vikings offense since he could have had that complementary role, but at what price?
He would have needed to learn a new system – a similar West Coast offense that he is going to in Seattle – and would have been a component piece in the offensive puzzle with the Vikings. In Seattle, he will be the Big Daddy of the offense – expected to be the No. 1 receiver on a team with an injury-plagued receiver corps and a questionable running game. For that, he may be worth $8 million. But the reality is he just wasn't worth that kind of money to be receiver No. 1A with the Vikings.
The rumor mill now has the Vikings making a run at disgruntled Denver QB Jay Cutler, who is embroiled in a dispute with the Broncos after learning the team was discussing the acquisition of Matt Cassel and trading him off. The problem with this latest rumor is that the Broncos would clearly need to get a quarterback in return and it is questionable whether they would be willing to give up their first-round pick from 2006 for either Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson.
Jared Allen is among a group of NFL players on the USS Ramage visiting U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf. The NFL-USO Tour dates back to 1966 and has included many of the all-time greats lifting the spirits of American troops fighting overseas.
Darren Sharper made a visit to the Saints Monday, where he hopes to land a new deal. The Saints lost out on younger veteran cornerback Ronald Bartell over the weekend and signing Sharper may happen within the next couple of days.
The Bengals aren't letting the void of losing Houshmandzadeh last too long. The team has already set up an interview with former Jets WR Laveranues Coles.
From the "Borrow From Peter to Pay Paul Department" comes this: A year after trading a high draft pick for DE Jason Taylor, the Redskins released Taylor Monday after being pressed up tight to the salary cap by big-money signings of Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall. The Hall deal wasn't completed officially until Monday. After a restructured deal wasn't completed, the Redskins released Taylor to create more salary cap room. It's good to see that some things never change, like Daniel Snyder throwing money at aging free agents only to cut them loose shortly thereafter.
There is still very little to report on the Matt Birk front. He is rumored to be talking with a team or two, but wants to return to the Vikings.
Linebacker Heath Farwell will meet with Patriots officials Tuesday and is said to have at least one other visit scheduled before talking to the Vikings about potentially re-signing.
The Vikings could have gotten in a bidding war for T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but they opted to show restraint, like they did with former WR targets Kevin Curtis and Drew Bennett.
The Vikings could have gotten in a bidding war for WR, but they opted to show restraint.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Getty)