Now I completely understand why the Ravens released WR Demetrius Williams.
After being a free agent for only one full day, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh was signed by the Baltimore Ravens to a one-year deal worth $855,000, the veteran minimum.
We Have a Winner
You can be certain that Houshmandzadeh will play to win, not for money.
Ray Lewis was a big factor in Houshmandzadeh’s decision to come to Baltimore. Lewis actually tried to bring in Houshmandzadeh last season, but ultimately lost him to the Seattle Seahawks. Well, Lewis wouldn’t allow him to slip away this time; according to USA TODAY, Lewis told Houshmandzadeh, “If you want to win, this is the place to be.”
Clearly Houshmandzadeh wants to win and be at an organization that knows how to win. He made the right choice to believe No. 52 and choose the Ravens.
Back in the AFC North
The former 7th-round draft pick in 2001 started his career in Cincinnati with the Bengals, so Houshmandzadeh is familiar with the AFC North rivalry. You can bet he marked September 19, 2010 and January 2, 2011 in his calender— when the Ravens face the Bengals. He will have two chances to shine against his former team.
His experience in this division helps him understand the heated rivalry in this division and play with a passion.
Houshmandzadeh will be entering his 10th NFL season. He had a stellar career in Cincinnati, mainly as the No. 2 receiver behind Chad Ochocinco. The 6-2 and 203 lb. receiver brings size and experience to an already veteran wide receiving corps.
Although the former Pro Bowler had a declining year last season, Houshmandzadeh still managed to catch 79 passes for 911 yards for the Seahawks.
This bodes well for Flacco, who now has 4 veteran receivers to play with— Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte’ Stallworth, and now T. J. Houshmandzadeh.
The Ravens could now arguably have the best wide receiving group in the league. That’s a huge step from last year, where the wide-outs were probably the weakest position group of the Ravens.
With Stallworth recovering from a broken foot, look for Houshmandzadeh to take the 3rd-receiver spot on the Ravens roster. Rumors have already begun that WR Mark Clayton has been placed on the trade block. Before Houshmandzadeh officially joins his new team, one more player must be released from the 53-man roster.
[UPDATE: Mark Clayton has reportedly been traded to the St. Louis Rams for a late-round draft pick. Click here to read more.]
Houshmandzadeh not only strengthens the depth at the receiver position for the Ravens, but he helps the team make a sure bid for Super Bowl XLV. For you Madden fans, Houshmandzadeh boasts an overall rating of 87— this places him higher than Derrick Mason, who is just 85 overall.
I’m all for this move.