Surprising many experts who thought he was headed elsewhere, former Pro Bowl receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has agreed to a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. His addition adds to an already talented receiving corps and gives third-year quarterback Joe Flacco another talented option.
Initial reports had Houshmandzadeh heading to Washington or Oakland, but he ended up joining a Baltimore team with legitimate postseason aspirations.
“Baltimore was about a chance to win the ring,” Houshmandzadeh told USA Today. “Five or six teams have a legit shot to win a Super Bowl this year and they were one of them. Without me.
“Although I had other options and I was seriously considering those, I just couldn’t pass this up. Winning is why we play sports.”
Houshmandzadeh is no stranger to the Ravens as he spent eight seasons with AFC North Division rival the Cincinnati Bengals. During that time, he caught 507 passes for 5,782 yards and 37 touchdowns while playing alongside Pro Bowl regular Chad Ochocinco.
Last season, Houshmandzadeh signed as a free agent with the Seattle Seahawks and caught 79 passes for 911 yards and three scores. He has caught at least 73 passes for at least 900 yards in each of the last six campaigns.
The 32-year old receiver will join a receiving corps that already includes Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte Stallworth, though Stallworth will be out until October with a broken foot.
Baltimore opens the 2010 season next Monday, September 13th, ironically against a New York Jets team that will be somewhat depleted at the receiver position after cutting veteran Lavernareus Coles and with Santonio Holmes out for four games due to a league suspension.
However, the Jets will have All-Pro defensive back Darrelle Revis back in the lineup after agreeing to a contract extension.