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New Seattle receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh provided a pretty blunt explanation Tuesday for why he chose to sign with the Seahawks rather than Minnesota. Speaking on Dan Patrick's syndicated radio show, Houshmandzadeh said he preferred Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck over the Vikings' current combination of Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.
Here is the relevant exchange, courtesy of KFXN-AM in Minneapolis:
T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "...Ultimately I thought when I started comparing things, you look at the guy who is going to touch the ball every play and that's Matt Hasselbeck and that kind of weighed the decision a little bit in the favor of the Seahawks."
If you were looking at the other two teams, who had a better chance: Minnesota or Cincinnati?
TJH: "Uh, Minnesota."
But they have a quarterback situation that is in a state of flux. If that had been firmed up, would it have tipped the scales toward Minnesota?
TJH: "Oh yeah, yeah. But that's not the case, you know. So hindsight is 20-20. I'm happy here. Seattle has been good for years and years and years. They had a bad year last year, and we're going to bring it back this year."
Yes, I know it probably seems pretty convenient for me to suggest that the Vikings lost out on Houshmandzadeh because of their unsettled quarterback situation on the same day I wrote they should make a run at Denver quarterback Jay Cutler. And it's true that Houshmandzadeh was merely trying to praise Hasselbeck, who when healthy is one of the NFL's top 10 quarterbacks, and not necessarily demean Jackson or Rosenfels.
And finally, I suspect there were several factors -- including financial issues -- that also contributed to the decision. Players don't often say they signed with a team because of contract terms.
But it goes almost without saying that the quarterback plays an integral role for free agent receivers. Houshmandzadeh made a value judgment, and he expressed it Tuesday with no media filter.
NFC West colleague Mike Sando will be covering Houshmandzadeh's introductory news conference Tuesday afternoon in Seattle, and we'll reconvene if Houshmandzadeh expands his thoughts on the issue.