Fans is Seattle cheered when the Seahawks signed free agent wide receiver standout, T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a five-year $40 million contract. Seattle desperately needs a No. 1 wide receiver to open their game up.
The only question remaining is whether Houshmandzadeh will be the receiver to make all of Seattle’s wildest dreams come true? Or will Seattle have overpaid for someone with waning talent once again?
While at Cincinnati, Houshmandzadeh spent eight seasons progressively improving his game. As a seventh round pick (No. 204 overall), he came into the league returning punts and kickoffs with an occasional reception (21 in his first season).
He improved over his rookie season and had his breakout year in the 2004 season. Since the 2004 season, he has averaged more than 1,012 yards per season while splitting the receiving load with Chad Ochocinco.
In 2007, he was the reception leader in the NFL and reached his only Pro Bowl.
Houshmandzadeh is a bigger receiver (6'1", 200 pounds) which will make him a nice target for Matt Hasselbeck, but maybe more importantly, he is not afraid to throw a block down field.
The zone-blocking scheme that Seattle has shifted to this year will benefit greatly from having wide receivers who are willing to throw in blocks down field. Julius Jones will reap the benefits with an occasional large run, something the Seahawks have had too little of the past few seasons.
Seattle will have a seasoned crew at wide receiver with Houshmandzadeh at 32 this year, Deion Branch reaching 30 this season and Nate Burleson hitting 28 this year. Not the ideal situation, but nothing to panic about yet either.
Houshmandzadeh has had his share of injuries. He missed the majority of the 2003 season with a hamstring injury. In 2005, he had a hand injury that minimized his contributions, and in 2006, he missed games because of foot problems.
Seattle needs Houshmandzadeh to be healthy, and the team needs him to produce as promised.
The Seahawks franchise has had its share of "buying" talent, but finding out that they overpaid for what they got (see: Brian Bosworth, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch).
If all works out well, Houshmandzadeh is the missing piece of the Seahawks' puzzle that leads them to the Super Bowl. On the other hand, this could be the beginning of a long, cold winter for the Seahawks.
Hopefully Seattle gets what it paid for with this transaction.