Vikings have edge on T.J.
By Joe Reedy • firstname.lastname@example.org • March 1, 2009
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It looks like the Vikings might have emerged as the front-runners to land T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
After a trip to the Vikings headquarters in Winter Park that lasted more than five hours, Houshmandzadeh and team officials have headed back to Minneapolis.
Earlier in the day, agent Kennard McGuire, said that Houshmandzadeh would make a decision tonight.
Houshmandzadeh’s aim before free agency was to make a decision by the end of the first weekend. He has stayed true to that aim, telling The Enquirer on Saturday that he would decide Sunday evening.
The Bengals have been in discussions with McGuire since Thursday and have an offer on the table.
Houshmandzadeh arrived in Minnesota Saturday night on a plane sent by owner Zygi Wilf to Seattle and had dinner with team officials and coaches at an upscale Minneapolis steakhouse.
The Vikings, along with the Seahawks, are two of four teams that Houshmandzadeh said he would like to play for on Friday. But in an interview on ESPN, the Vikings were the only team that Houshmandzadeh elaborated on why he would like to go there.
“If I can play with Adrian Peterson, can you imagine what I would do getting one-on-one coverage?” Houshmandzadeh said. “I’m going to win 98.6 percent of the time with one-on-one coverage with him in the backfield.”
On Friday, Houshmandzadeh met with Seahawks’ officials, which included a tour of the team’s new headquarters on the shores of Lake Washington in owner Paul Allen’s seaplane.
Houshmandzadeh, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Bengals in 2001, has three straight seasons of 90 or more catches and leads all NFL receivers in most receptions since 2005 (372). He is third in team history in receptions (507), fifth in touchdowns (37) and seventh in yards (5,782).
Lets go Zyg bring em home