Seahawks Attempt to Trade Houshmandzadeh May Be Vincent Jackson-Related

With the report by Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network that the Seattle Seahawks are trying to move wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, or more importantly his $7 million guaranteed base salary, one team immediately comes to mind as a possible destination: The Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings pursued Houshmandzadeh in free agency last off-season, and one of the reasons he opted not to sign with them was their unsettled quarterback position. The Vikings have since added Percy Harvin, and Sidney Rice has emerged as a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver, but both are question marks entering the 2010 season, with Rice expected to miss at least half the season after undergoing hip surgery.

Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune thinks that with Brett Favre at quarterback, Houshmandzadeh would likely have no problem being traded to the Vikings, but even if a team that clearly pushing all their chips to the center of the table in 2010, there are issues with the finances.

Another nugget from Zulgad is that the Seahawks are believed to be trying to clear salary space to acquire restricted free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson from the San Diego Chargers and then sign him to a long-term contract extension.

Seattle's interest in Jackson goes back several months, including obtaining permission from the Chargers to talk contract with Jackson's representatives (Jonathan Feinsod/Neil Schwartz), who denied talking contract specifics--such as the 5-year, $50 million with $30 million that's widely been reported--with the Seahawks.

Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reported last night that the Chargers are asking for a 2011 second-round pick and a 2012 third-round pick for Jackson, but that ownership could intervene and get the price lowered if it meant that Jackson were definitely going to be moved.

One problem with this is that the Seahawks have already traded their third-round pick in 2011 to the Chargers (for Charlie Whitehurst), and with as many holes as they currently have on their roster, may not be inclined to trade more premium picks to acquire a 27-year old wide receiver with two DUIs and whose one strike away from an 8- or 16-game suspension.

Plus, Seattle's interest in Jackson primarily stemmed from the team's desire to add a tall, physical receiver this off-season. They may have found that in 6-5, 230-pound Mike Williams, who has had a fantastic training camp, emerging as one of Matt Hasselbeck's favorite target this pre-season.

Dave Mahler of 950-KJR reports that Houshmandzadeh is aware of the trade rumors, "but as of now preparing to play for Hawks."

Former Seahawks and Detroit Lions offensive tackle Ray Roberts, who is now a radio personality for 710 ESPN Seattle and is a part of the Seahawks' "Pregame Huddle" radio show, suggests the Seahawks may be laying the groundwork to cut Houshmandzadeh "with minimal recourse".

Guaranteed base salaries are subject to forfeiture, but the Seahawks have one of wealthiest owners in the NFL, and in an uncapped season, it's doubtful that the Seahawks would go to the mattresses and prod Houshmandzadeh into a tirade in to attempt to get out of that contract.

Doing that might raise questions about who negotiated that deal for the Seahawks. Despite all the turnover in the key offices at the VMAC, John Idzik is well into his fourth season as the team's Vice-President of Football Administration, and as chief negotiator, is the one who signed off on the guaranteed base salary component of Houshmandzadeh's deal.

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