In what turned out to be a tougher decision than expected, wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh finally chose the Seattle Seahawks Monday afternoon, according to multiple sources.
The deal is reportedly worth more than $40 million for five years, with more than $15 million guaranteed which is a bit less than Houshmandzadeh was hoping for but better than the 5 year $35 million deal he was offered from the Bengals.
Houshmandzadeh was considered the wide receiver prize of free agency. He caught a combined 204 passes for 2,043 yards and 16 touchdowns over the past two seasons in Cincinnati. He also had a 90-catch season in 2006. He tied for the NFL receptions lead in 2007 with 112 catches and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
The Raiders and other teams were holding out on signing any receivers until this deal was done because it will set the market value on every other receiver on the market right now. Laveranues Coles will most likely be next to be signed** and then the rest of the receivers will probably go pretty fast after that.
**UPDATE: Coles has reportedly signed with the Bengals. With the top two guys signed, Expect the Raiders to finally start making some moves to sign a FA receiver very soon.
This also means that the team ahead of the Raiders that was most likely to draft Michael Crabtree, will probably look elsewhere. So if the Raiders want Crabtree, he will be there for the taking.
Todd McShay of Scouts Inc. has been predicting that the Raiders would take Crabtree all along while Mel Kiper (who was correct on just TWO picks in each of his last two mock drafts) predicts the Raiders will take Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin. I can only suspect he will change his prediction now.
Many Raider fans are hoping that the Raiders don’t draft a receiver at all in the first round (myself included). But if they are intent on doing so, at least there is now a good chance that the only receiver worth going at #7 (Crabtree), will be there for the taking. The option of choosing from the best is a nice problem to have.
This is a tremendous weight off of my mind. Maclin is an extremely risky pick because he is fragile, ran a lackluster 40 time at the combine, and measured shorter than he was reported to be. It turns out he is just 5′11″ which is the same height as Florida WR Percy Harvin who has always been refered to as ”small in stature.”
Crabtree’s stress fracture injury is not a concern because he has decided to have the surgery done this week so he will be ready for the start of camp. Even though he will not be able to workout for NFL scouts, he proved throughout his college career that he has all the tools he needs to dominate at the receiver position. And he is fast on the football field in a helmet and pads, where it matters. Not in shorts and a T-shirt.