Amongst the Matt Leinart talk, I figured I'd dabble with a suggestion of my own: former Cincinnati receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh.
As many of us know, the longtime Bungle became a free agent last offseason after a rather bitter divorce with the team. The reality was, however, Houshmandzadeh was not in the same class as Randy Moss contrary to his belief. He waited longer than most free agents before signing a fat 5-year/$40 million dollar contract with the Seattle Seahawks.
Unfortunately, for both parties involved, this had the makings of a disaster before the ink dried. The Seahawks were a lesser team than the Bengals in every regard, the Jim Mora Jr. era was beginning (to end) and he was set to be the number one receiver--something he never was or ever will be (not necessarily a bad thing, more on that later).
Lo and behold, Matt Hasselbeck proved to be even further gone than Carson Palmer, Pete Carroll replaced Mora and Housh was limited to rather low numbers on the year. Now, with talk of his impending release, the question is raised; should we take a flier?
Before I even get started with my argument, let me begin by saying that I would encourage such an acquisition ONLY in the event of a release. I would NOT support a trade for Houshmandzadeh and his current contract.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.
If we were able to sign Houshmandzadeh, his role would be as our #3 (slot) receiver. This is where he would be best suited, given his penchant for holding onto the ball for solid gains. It's my belief that in Seattle (and even in Cincinnati), Housh was simply asked to do too much. Sure, he was one of the better #2's in the league, but he's proven himself to be a top 3 slot man.
At this current time, Ward and Wallace are locked in as our one and two, but the picture painted beyond them isn't so clear. Arnaz Battle and Antwaan Randle El are reliable, but have proven to have been nothing special these past few years, while Emmanual Sanders is clearly a project.
Houshmandzadeh has shown slight signs of decline at age 33, but in a case of relativity, he's still far better than the options we have beyond Ward and Wallace. Last season, with the platoon of Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace, he duplicated the previous year's ~900 yds and 3 tds (with Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick). It's no doubt the men throwing him the ball have reeked of mediocrity and it's worth mentioning that 900 yards is a mark he hasn't fallen under for 6 straight years. That's impressive.
So now we have to ask ourselves; isn't that better than what Randle El and Battle could offer us? Definitely!
The only pause for hesitation is in regards to Houshmandzadeh's special team value; none. If we were to acquire Houshmandzadeh, it would be my guess that Antonio Brown would be shown the door, leaving us with:
That's 5 or 6, depending on the special teams value elsewhere on our team.
In closing, you always want to make your football team the best you can personnel-wise and Houshmandzadeh could make us better. This is especially true for us (Dixon or Batch) who will need all of the weapons they can throw to in order to stay afloat in football's toughest division... and when Ben comes back, we have an elite passing attack when we factor in Miller.
Oh and I'm sure Housh wouldn't mind getting some revenge on his former team...