Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


A second shot at Houshmandzadeh?

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings offense, Brett Favre, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: September 2, 2010 - 4:25 PM

The Vikings lost out in their pursuit of free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh in March 2009 when the veteran wide receiver decided to sign a five-year, $40 million deal with Seattle that included $15 million in guarantees.

Now it appears the Vikings could have another shot at Houshmandzadeh -- if they are interested. The Seahawks are actively shopping Houshmandzadeh, according to NFL sources. The story was first reported this afternoon by Jason LaConfora of the NFL Network.

Seattle is believed to be trying to unload Houshmandzadeh because it would like an opportunity to clear salary space to potentially add disgruntled San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson in a trade. Houshmandzadeh is due to make $7 million plus guaranteed this coming season.

The 32-year-old Houshmandzadeh is coming off a season in Seattle in which he caught 79 passes for 911 yards and only three touchdowns in 16 games. That reception total was his lowest since he caught 78 passes with the Bengals in 2005 in 14 games.

Houshmandzadeh made it clear when he did not come to Minnesota that part of the reason had to do with the quarterback situation. Houshmandzadeh also said the presence of Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle played a big part in his decision.

But that was before Houshmandzadeh went through a 5-11 season in 2009 and head coach Jim Mora Jr., was fired and replaced by Pete Carroll. It was also before the Vikings convinced Brett Favre to spent two seasons with them.

Favre's presence means it's likely Houshmandzadeh would have no problem being traded to Minnesota. The loss of Sidney Rice (hip) for a good portion of the season and the uncertainty surrounding Percy Harvin and his migraine issues might make Houshmandzadeh an attractive option.

The real question when it comes to Houshmandzadeh and the Vikings is finances. As I wrote about Jackson earlier today, you have to wonder how much more spending the Vikings ownership group will approve after committing a potential $20 million on Favre for 2010.

The flip side is if the Vikings feel Houshmandzadeh could be a key piece to their success in what Favre has said will be his final season (I know, I know) the franchise might be willing to make that investment.

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