In what turned out to be a tougher decision than expected, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh chose the Seattle Seahawks over the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday afternoon, according to multiple sources.
2008 Season Stats Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
92 904 4 9.8 46 366
Sources told ESPN’s Michael Smith the deal was worth more than $40 million for five years, with more than $15 million guaranteed.
Though he had hoped to make his decision Sunday, Houshmandzadeh, pressured by Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer to stay in Cincinnati, and the Vikings to stay around the Minneapolis area during a visit, escaped from a Minneapolis hotel Sunday night, flew to Los Angeles and took Monday morning trying to make up his mind. He weighed offers from three teams along with their quarterbacks and their teams’ chances of winning.
The 31-year-old 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. The 6-1, 189-pound receiver 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.
His departure in Cincinnati could mean Chad Johnson might have to stay in Cincinnati another season. Johnson tried to get traded from the Bengals before the 2008 season.