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Seattle Signs TJ Houshmandzadeh to 5 Years, $40 Million


Program this into your Google spell check Seahawks fans: Houshmandzadeh and the alternate spelling HOUSHMANDZADEH!! Seattle has landed the marquee free agent wide receiver and for only ridiculously too much money! When intestine twisting, brain damage inducing, freakin'-third-world-GDP money seemed so likely. That's a lot of skrill as  3323542433_b5ca7250c7_s_medium would say. The deal is for 5 years, $40 million with $15 million guaranteed. Extending his contract and overall dollar amount, but in practical terms, undercutting his desired salary. I don't know the exact terms, but I'd bet that it's a masterpiece of a contract. Figure, Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones come off the books in 2011, freeing up about $19 million in space. Seattle gives Houshmandzadeh a decent sized signing bonus, a fair salary the next two seasons, and then a monster roster bonus in 2011. The cap hit gets spread to accommodate Seattle's needs, the team is never really pinched, and after 2011, Houshmandzadeh's age 34 season, he's off the books.

By then he's going to be an excellent slot receiver in the Bobby Engram mold. Until then, Houshmandzadeh is the kind of sometimes explosive, difficult to cover, almost transcendent possession receiver a team can build a passing attack around. Expect immediate returns in Seattle's ability to convert third and medium/long. Expect to suddenly understand how bad Nate Burleson was. But know this is extremely exciting, but not worth a damn unless Seattle fixes its pass protection, starting at tackle (adios Ray Willis), and starts a starter caliber quarterback. Housh is a great target for a healthy Matt Hasselbeck. A great mid-range threat that's reliable and where he's supposed to be. We know how the Objectivist despises the weak and undisciplined, preferring the hard certainty of a sack to fuzzy routes of Courtney Taylor.

Signing Houshmadzadeh is a bridge from now to Seattle's next window. It could be the bridge that allows Seattle to make an improbable run behind a resurgent Hasselbeck. It could be the bridge that softens the landing for a young quarterback. Whichever, it's a good move, for too much money, but only money and not draft picks, that won't save the franchise, doesn't mortgage the future, but will make Sundays a whole lot more excellent.