The Ravens have made a huge splash in the post-cut day free agent market, signing former Seattle Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The former Bengals standout signed a big contract with Seattle last year, only to play one season in the blue and white and whatever other weird colors they wear up there.
Houshmandzadeh lined up with Chad Johnson Ochocinco in Cincinatti, where he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark twice (2006, 2007), and caught more than 90 passes in three consecutive seasons (2006, 2007, 2008). The player whose name is the most frustrating to spell of any football player in the history of the world, Houshmandzadeh has accumulated over 900 receiving yards in every season since 2004.
More information about the signing and how T.J. “Who’s Your Momma” will fit into a role with the Ravens.
Houshmandzadeh was cut by the Seahawks on Saturday, with all signs pointing to the new coach, Pete Carroll, not liking his hair. Or something like that. “Housh” was the most highly regarded player released from any NFL team, and it seems almost certain that many other teams besides the Ravens were calling the 10-year veteran to try to win his services for the 2010 season.
The Ravens were not mentioned as a potential landing spot over the past two days, mainly because their receiving corps is pretty flush at the moment. Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason team up to be one of the best starting duos in the NFL, and Mark Clayton has shown signs of promise this preseason. With that said, Donte’ Stallworth’s broken foot is undoubtedly the key factor in this signing. With the speedy Stallworth expected to miss 6-8 games, the Ravens must feel like they’ve won the lottery, having a weapon like Houshmandzadeh fall into their lap like he did. Now, instead of having Mark Clayton, an average #3 receiver at best, replacing Stallworth, the team will have Houshmandzadeh, one of the NFL’s most proven and consistent receivers.
By now, you should know that Houshmandzadeh is among the best in the NFL. You should know that he has 586 receptions in only 90 starts, meaning he averages more than 6.5 receptions every game he starts. You should also know that as a 7th-round pick, the former Oregon State receiver came out of almost nowhere in 2004 to make 73 catches and help turn the Bengals’ passing game into one of the best in the NFL. Houshmandzadeh is the perfect receiver for this Flacco-led Ravens passing game, being that he can run routes well, catch inside and outside the numbers, and beat the occasional cornerback on a fly route for a big gain. We’ll wait and see if Housh is a permanent fixture in Baltimore, or just a placeholder for Stallworth, but regardless, the Ravens have made a big move at a big time.
Oh, and one more legitimate receiver to torture Darrelle Revis with next Monday doesn’t hurt, either.