Free Agent of Interest: TJ Houshmandzadeh

Name: TJ Houshmandzadeh

Birthdate: September 26, 1977

Position: WR

Height/Weight: 6'1"/199

College: Oregon State, 1 year starter

Notable Stats: 42 catches, 656 yards, 6 touchdowns

Pros: Bengals, 74 starts in eight years.

Notable Stats: Five consecutive 900+ yard seasons

Pre-draft measurables: Was not invited to the NFL combine.

20 Word Scouting Report: Quick, powerful, excellent route runner, great body control, carves zones, shields defender, hard to press, good run after the catch

My Interest: It's possible that Houshmandzadeh has never shaken the stigma of dropping out of high school. He attended Cerritos Community College before joining Oregon State. He wasn't invited to the combine and wasn't drafted until the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He spent the next two seasons battling for and losing starts to Peter Warrick. Houshmandzadeh missed most of 2003 with a severe hamstring injury. He was still slotted behind Warrick in 2004, but a fortuitous shin injury cost Warrick most of the season. It was fortuitous for the Bengals who finally stripped themselves of Warrick and fortuitous for Houshmandzadeh who emerged as a top tier receiver. Houshmandzadeh hard scrabbled his way into a career and on the eve of his free agency is still treated like a minor star. He's not. And don't be fooled, he's not slow either. Even Ryan Fitzpatrick, a hobbled Chad Ocho Cinco and a punishing schedule couldn't stop Houshmandzadeh. His counting stats and analytical stats stayed in the top 25. He has all the abilities but top speed and should be a superstar, but it seems most can't see past his ignoble roots. If that means Seattle can sign him at a discount, then may the market be petty and prejudiced. A wonderful complement to Deion Branch, a little thuggish but never an outlaw, Housh would bring stability and ability to a wide receiver corps heavy on potential and depth, but light on stability and production.

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