Cincinnati has a Pro Bowl wide receiver about to become a free agent and a franchise tag at its disposal. But don’t look for the Bengals to slap the tag on free-agent-to-be wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Last year Cincinnati used its franchise tag — and the corresponding $7.455 million salary — on offensive tackle Stacy Andrews. But on one of Sunday’s final plays during Cincinnati’s win over Cleveland, Andrews damaged his right knee enough that it will impact his value on the free-agent market, and it could likely mean the Bengals no longer will franchise him.
So the Bengals could throw Andrews’ former tag on Houshmandzadeh, yet a league source said Cincinnati wouldn’t. Houshmandzadeh is 31 years old, and if Cincinnati wants him, it will attempt to sign him to a long-term deal, something it previously has tried to do but failed.
But don’t look for Andrews’ tag to go on Houshmandzadeh.