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News » Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-03-06

Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-03-06

Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-03-06
Seattle team president and general manager Tim Ruskell said the Seahawks would slowly wade into the free agent waters during this offseason.

However, Seattle surprisingly made one of the biggest splashes by signing the top free agent receiver in the draft in T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Houshmandzadeh spurned offers from Minnesota and Cincinnati in accepting Seattle's five-year, $40 million deal, including $15 million in guaranteed money. Seattle is believed to have been the largest offered to Houshmandzadeh.

The Seahawks also added depth to their defensive line by signing defensive tackle Colin Cole to a five-year, $21.4 million deal, $6 million of which is guaranteed.

Signing the 31-year-old Houshmandzadeh was a necessary move for Seattle because of all the injuries the Seahawks experienced at receiver last season, including starting nine different receivers.

Houshmandzadeh now solidifies Seattle's receiving unit. The Seahawks newest receiver believes Seattle has one of the top receiving corps in the league when you add him to the mix that includes a healthy Deion Branch, Nate Burleson and tight end John Carlson.

Seattle was the right choice, says Houshmandzadeh, who with 372 catches has the most receptions of any receiver in the league the last four years.

"It was just a comfort level, to be honest with you," Houshmandzadeh said. "It's hard to say what put it over the top or why. But if you look at the team, they've got a good team. If you look at the quarterback, who's going to affect me a lot, they've got a good quarterback. And my kids and my wife, they liked Coach Mora from the onset."

Considered more of a possession receiver who does not have great speed to get over the top of defenses, Houshmandzadeh seems happy to emerge from the shadow of fellow Cincinnati teammate Chad Johnson by heading west.

"Tell the video people here to get you the tape of our last couple years and you'll see who was getting the majority of the double teams," said Houshmandzadeh, when asked about playing with his former teammate, which dates back to their time at Oregon State. "You'll see who was really the focal point.

"I'm not going to discredit his ability to play football because, to me, Chad is one of the best receivers in the league. But I think I can play, too. So he got his fair share of double teams, and so did I. And I know I'm going to be successful, and I know he will be, too."

Paired with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle head coach Jim Mora believes Houshmandzadeh will gives the Seahawks' opponents headaches in 2009,

"We know that he's been a highly productive player who's reliable and outstanding (producing first downs)," Mora said. "Like I said, a physical presence on the field who's a willing blocker, and we'll ask our receivers to do some of that.

"But we'll use him each week in a way we feel is best to win that game. And we won't put any parameters on it. We'll just be as creative as we can."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 6, 2009

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