Former Cincinnati Bengal T.J. Houshmandzadeh was the best wide receiver on the NFL’s free agent market this offseason, and the Seahawks signed him. And all Jim Mora had to do to get Housh to commit was steal his watch! (Hey, say what you will about Mike Holmgren’s successor, but he’s shaping up to be a crafty negotiator … or just an awkward, timepiece hostage-taker.) Nothing could harsh our mellow after that news.
Um … until we saw this post on Bengals blog Stripehype.com, where David Wellman bid "good riddance" to the man whose name will no doubt give every Seattle copy editor fits for at least the next six months. And Wellman didn’t pull any punches:
"For the last two years, Houshmandzadeh had been an ever-increasing pain in the side of the Cincinnati organization, disgruntled over his pay, refusing to attend offseason workouts, enjoying convenient hammy injuries whenever he didn’t feel like practicing or playing and spending more time auditioning for his future career as an NFL Network talking head than he did getting his timing down with Carson Palmer."
"Awesome," we thought. The Seahawks just signed their very own T.O. Is the city of passive aggressives about to be invaded by an aggressively selfish pass-receiving primadonna? Say it ain’t so, Dave. "That post was written more in anger than in sorrow," Wellman said when we called and interrupted his steak-grilling yesterday to ask for the skinny on Housh’s ‘tude. "You’ve got yourselves a great player and a great guy. He’s not going to show up on the police report." Turns out, we don’t have to lose too much sleep over having invited a third-down diva into the Seattle fold; Housh isn’t such a bad guy after all, Wellman says, and the Bengals blogger was just blowing off some steam after watching yet another talented playmaker blow off Cincinnati for a more impressive city. (So for all you whiners who like to bemoan Seattle’s status as a "small-market team," just remember: We’ll always be bigger than Cincy.)
Of course, there’s no guarantee we won’t witness the occasional sideline tantrum. "I wouldn’t call him a diva — I wouldn’t go that far," Wellman says. "But let’s be honest: All wide receivers, to one degree or another, are high maintenance." Dammit … just when we were getting comfortable.