Cincinnati already is thinking about next season and one of its biggest decisions will be whether to slap its franchise tag on wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
It is an interesting decision, to tag or not to tag. If Cincinnati slaps the franchise tag on Houshmandzadeh, he would be assured of making $9 million for the 2009 season. Yet if a team were going to spend $9 million on a 31-year-old receiver, why not then go ahead and sign him to a long-term deal with similar guaranteed money involved?
Somehow, the Bengals need to figure out a way to ensure that Houshmandzadeh cannot walk out the door without the team getting anything in return. But then, the Bengals cannot be counted on in the same way that the Patriots or Colts can.
But one of their biggest offseason decisions will revolve around Houshmandzadeh and whether to tag or not to tag.