Considering their interest in Vincent Jackson, it is not a surprise that the Seahawks are trying to offload T.J. Houshmandzadeh and his $7 million salary.
And word that the Hawks are shopping Houshmandzadeh most likely means the Seahawks are making progress in talks with Jackson’s agents.
The much less believable option is that the Hawks are comfortable going into the season with injury-prone Deion Branch, comeback-kid Mike Williams, rookie Golden Tate, second-year man Deon Butler, and one other receiver―probably Ben Obomanu or Brandon Jones.
Subtracting Houshmandzadeh without adding Jackson, on the heels of trading cornerback Josh Wilson, would be a major step back for the Seahawks―the equivalent probably of giving up one win this season.
Conventional wisdom says no team will be interested in taking on the 32-year-old veteran’s guaranteed $7 million salary, but there’s nothing saying Housh wouldn’t agree to restructure his contract for the right (i.e., playoff) team.
Minnesota liked him last year and could be interested again in the wake of Sidney Rice’s hip surgery and Percy Harvin’s ongoing migraine issues.
Houshmandzadeh might easily agree to revamp his contract for the Vikings, who might be willing to give up a fourth-round pick for a guy who can still run routes with the best of them and catch the ball well.
It's a given that the Seahawks would ditch Houshmandzadeh and his expensive contract if they were able to acquire Jackson, the holdout receiver of the San Diego Chargers.
The Seahawks reportedly moved on from Jackson last week after word got out that Jackson wanted $10 million per year and $30 million guaranteed.
But Jackson’s agent, Neil Schwartz, disputed those numbers, telling Pro Football Talk last week, “There's no truth to the report that we asked for $50 million over five years and $30 million guaranteed.
No numbers needed to be mentioned. All of those guys have contracts that average around $9 million per year, so it’s clear what Jackson is looking for.
We’ve previously outlined the overwhelming argument against making this deal, but the Seahawks apparently like Jackson’s age (27), size (6-5, 230) and playmaking ability (17.2-yard average) and it appears they are still intent on possibly acquiring him.
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith reportedly wants a second-round pick in 2011 and a third-rounder in 2012, but Seahawks GM John Schneider would need to bargain that down.
Schneider already got burned in the Charlie Whitehurst deal, giving Smith a 2011 third-rounder on top of swapping second-rounders in this year’s draft.
Schneider hopefully learned from that trade and knows he doesn’t need to give up a second and third for a guy who is going to sit out the first three games of this season.
While the Seahawks might still be pursuing Jackson, they reportedly already turned down a chance to get quarterback Matt Leinart, who is on the outs in Arizona.
According to Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network (who tends to be hit and miss on the veracity of his information), the Cardinals tried to trade Leinart to Seattle earlier this offseason when both team were pursuing Whitehurst, and the Seahawks turned Arizona down because they preferred Whitehurst.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t bring in Leinart as their third quarterback...if Carroll thought it would be a good idea.
Whatever happens in the next few days, it’s guaranteed that the Seahawks are not done tinkering with their roster.