The newest Seattle Seahawk — wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh — was in the house today at NFL.com and NFL Network making the rounds. He took part in one of the most memorable chats with NFL.com readers, breaking down why he chose Seattle over Cincinnati and Minnesota.
Today’s chat was inundated with Seahawks fans thanking T.J. for choosing their team, Vikings fans lamenting the fact he didn’t pick their team and Bengals fans wondering if their team made a serious run. All fair. All understandable.
Between the live chat and talking with T.J. offline, here’s my take.
The ultimate factor in him choosing Seattle was that he felt most “comfortable” there and he really believes the injury-riddled Seahawks of last season are a playoff team this season. Housmandzadeh alluded to the fact that the Bengals only asked him to do certain things in their offense, which won’t be the case in Seattle — he’ll have the opportunity to be a multi-dimensional receiver. You can tell that was a difference-maker for him, and he’s eager dispel the “one-dimensional” receiver label. He also has spoken with Matt Hasselbeck and is fully convinced his new QB is healthy after back surgery.
Based on that reasoning, it’s no surprise that Houshmandzadeh said at his news conference that the Seahawks were his first choice all along.
As for Cincy, Housmandzadeh said the Bengals were not “persistent with good intentions” in their effort to retain him. That reads to me like it wasn’t a serious offer. He offered up the fact that he re-signed in the ‘Nati after four seasons and would have done it again after eight if the Bengals really wanted him back. It’s also pretty clear that good friend Chad Johnson will be right behind Housmandzadeh in leaving the Bengals if given the chance.
As for Minnesota … the deal-breaker appears to be the QB situation. The Vikings might have lost out on Housh with their decision to go with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.
For the conspiracy theorists, there’s also this about the blue suit Housmandzadeh wore at his introductory press conference in Seattle: It was just a coincidence.
As the story goes, Housh packed for his trips to Seattle and Minnesota at once, bringing two suits. When he arrived back in SoCal to make his decision, he didn’t feel like driving back to his home in Newport Beach for fresh threads. The infamous blue suit already was with him, and it was what was available for the news conference. Call it fate.
Be sure to check out Housmandzadeh on NFL Network’s Total Access (7 p.m. ET) tonight.