Ask T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and he’ll tell you he has one foot out of the door in Seattle.
The veteran wide receiver expressed his frustration with a report on the league’s website that the Seattle Seahawks are shopping him around the NFL and looking for a trade partner after the team’s final exhibition game in Oakland.
“If Pete (head coach Pete Carroll) feels like that makes them better, then I’ll be somewhere else,” Houshmandzadeh said. “It’s as simple as that. I can’t control it. I’m the type of dude where it doesn’t bother me because I can’t control it, but it does bother me because nobody said anything to me, and nobody has said anything to me.
“And I’ve got a wife and kids that are coming up to Seattle, and now that’s not going to happen because of what you hear. And so I’ll just play everything by ear.”
Speculation that Houshmandzadeh could be traded has been percolating around the league for weeks, but finally bubbled to the surface on Thursday.
Seattle likely won’t cut Houshmandzadeh because they still would be on the hook for his $7 million salary, already guaranteed for this season.
The 32-year-old receiver was outspoken in his first season in Seattle last year, and had communication issues with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. But Houshmandzadeh still led Seattle in receptions with 79, his lowest output since 2005.
He also is returning from sports hernia surgery during the offseason, so that could have hindered the Seahawks trying to move him earlier during training camp, with teams wanting to make sure he’s healthy.
If the Seahawks are unable to move Houshmandzadeh before Saturday’s final roster cuts, repairing the damage that has been done could be an issue.
“I don’t have to repair nothing,” Houshmandzadeh said. “Why do I have to repair anything? I’m going to go play football, like I always have. And if I play, I play. And if I don’t, it’s because they don’t want me on the field. That’s how I’m approaching everything. It’s out of my control.”
Houshmandzadeh had an opportunity to return to Cincinnati or sign with Minnesota last offseason, but ultimately decided on a four-year, $40 million deal with the Seahawks because he felt most comfortable with then-head coach Jim Mora and believed he could help turn things around for a team that had gone 4-12 the previous season.
“If I leave here that means I’m not wanted,” he said. “Everybody wants to feel wanted. It’s doesn’t matter, but it’s like, ‘Wow.’ But that’s just how it goes. I’ve never been in a situation like this. I’ve never been a guy that wasn’t wanted. I was always wanted. So we’ll see.”