Housh is the Man for Philly

Sean SingerCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

With NFL Free Agency less than two weeks away, the Philadelphia Eagles would be wise to aggressively pursue elite WR TJ Houshmanzadeh.

After the Bengals elected to designate their franchise tag to kicker Shayne Graham, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Housh estimated his chances of staying with the team at "less than 10%."

Houshmanzadeh will be among the most sought-after free agents and says that he'd like to have a deal done within the first 48 hours when the signing period begins on Feb. 27.

Philadelphia came within one game of the Super Bowl yet again this season, the fifth time they made it to the NFC Championship in 8 seasons. With key players such as Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins, Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas all desperate for a last chance at a Super Bowl, it's now or never.

The absence of a true No. 1 Wide Receiver has plagued the team for most of McNabb's career, with the immensely talented but team-destructing Terrell Owens the only legitimate elite wideout during the QB's run with the birds.

While the Eagles were right to let the selfish and whining Owens walk, his stay with Philly revealed their tremendous potential with a dominating WR. His first year with the team was a fun ride for birds fans as they started the season 13-1 and earned a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time in 24 years.

With the emergence of gifted rookie WR DeSean Jackson, some Eagles fans believe they have finally found their No. 1 WR. While Jackson has the potential to be the next Steve Smith, putting that kind of pressure on a second year player is a tall order. Jackson also is the teams primary punt returner, a role he should continue to thrive in.

Now that Houshmanzadeh is available, it makes perfect sense for the Eagles to go after him...hard. Just one season ago, Houshmanzadeh had his career year, finishing with a Bengals franchise record 112 receptions (most in the NFL) for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The window for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl is closing fast, with QB Kevin Kolb waiting in the wings for his chance to lead the team. In the NFC Championship, WR Larry Fitzgerald's super-hero (or villian for philly fans) like performance reminded birds fans of the key element the team is missing.

Here's hoping the Eagles take a cue from Spike Lee and do the right thing.