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T.J. . .Who?

Well, after a few days of getting V.I.P. treatment around the Twin Cities, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh showed where his priorities lie, as he signed with the Seattle Seahawks.  Per numerous sources, the contract is a five-year deal worth $40 million, with $15 million of that guaranteed.  At right around this time last season, the Vikings were signing Bernard Berrian to a six-year, $42 million deal with $16 million guaranteed.

It appears that, similar to the last time that the Vikings and Seahawks crossed paths in the off-season. . .which saw the Seahawks basically swap the best guard in the NFL (Steve Hutchinson) and a third-round pick for a glorified #3/4 wide receiver (Nate Burleson). . .it appears that the Vikings got the better deal.

Don't get me wrong. . .Houshmandzadeh would have been a nice get for the Vikings.  But the guy had to have become less and less endearing to Minnesota fans the longer he hung out in Minneapolis with his thumb firmly lodged in his rear end.  He showed that he was, contrary to my prior belief, a bit of a diva, with his "rolling deadline" for announcing his intentions.  In the end, he decided that a few million extra dollars was more important than signing with a team on which he could have been a major piece to a championship puzzle.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh isn't the first player in NFL history to choose money over winning, and he won't be the last guy to make that choice.  And, now, the Vikings will move on and set about the business of continuing to make their team better.  Our long national regional nightmare is over.  And when the Seahawks come to Minneapolis this season and Houshmandzadeh spends four quarters getting pimp-slapped around the Dome by Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin, maybe the light will come on for him.  Not that we'll care by that point.

Just remember, folks. . .it's still early.  Last year, many folks (including myself) were miffed that we hadn't done anything of significance to aid our pass rush.  And then, on 23 April 2008, something changed.  Will something similar happen this season?  I don't know, you don't know, we don't know. . .but if the Vikings have taught me anything over the past couple of years, it's that they're damn sure going to try.

This battle has been lost, my friends. . .the war, on the other hand, continues on.  Enjoy the rest of your Monday night!  I know I will be. . .having this thing settled means that I can watch Jack Bauer break things and kill people on 24 for two hours tonight without having to worry that I've missed anything.