Friday, February 27, 2009

Killing Time: Rumor Craziness & Housh

So far, the Vikings have done, well, nothing, aside from formalize the trade for Sage Rosenfels. I haven't seen or heard anything about which players are visiting Winter Park, or, really, anything new about any of their free agent targets. Negotiations continue with Matt Birk and Jim Kleinsasser, and the Purple have made offers to restricted free agents Fred Evans (a solid back up for the Williams Wall) and Naufahu Tahi (a horrible blocker who gained 37 receiving yards on 21 targets with a -77.4%DVOA and accumulated -77 DYAR). So really, no big changes except for a fun little rumor started by T.J. Houshmandzadeh who appears to enjoy flirting with every franchise's fanbase. As he said yesterday,
“I’m looking at teams I think have good coaches and good offensive lines and good running games. I have no idea if those teams are interested in me. If I can play with Adrian Peterson, can you imagine what I would do getting one-on-one coverage with Adrian Peterson? I am going to win 98.6 percent of the time with one-on-one coverage with him in the backfield.”
He's also contacted a radio station in Philly and is generally having a good time with being wanted (though I have no idea how he was able to know how often he could beat one-on-one coverage within a tenth of a percent). Would Housh (you type his name out more than once) be a good fit for the Vikings? The answer--it depends on the price.

If the Vikings can sign Housh that gives them a reasonable protection against his age 34, 35 and 36 seasons (the upcoming season is his age 32 season), he should definitely be brought in (I'm fine with them paying him for 4 or 5 years for 2 great and one good season, but not with them paying him for 6 or 7 seasons). He's averaged 1012 receiving yards a year over the last five years, and 89 catches. Last year, despite spending 13 games catching passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick, he still caught 92 passes for 904 yards. While he's not a deep threat (he has only 6 catches for over forty yards and 67 catches over 20 yards the last five years), he is an amazing possession receiver--he's not Randy Moss, he's Chris Carter. His worst catch percentage over the last five years is 66% and he's a first down machine, averaging 56 first down catches a year over the past five years and finishing 16th, 1st, 7th and 16th in first down catches in the last four years. He'd be the perfect fit for a West Coast offense, and the perfect complement for Bernard Berrian.

The only question mark is whether he can be signed without a Haynseworthian contract that guarantees it will ruin the Vikings' cap situation as Housh ages. If he can't, he's probably not worth it. If he can be signed for a reasonable (within the context of #1 receiver contracts), then the Vikings should do everything they can to sign him. At the very least, the Purple need to find out the answer.


Luft Krigare said...

There are reports that the Vikings are interested in Nate Washington, and he fits the young with potential mold that Vikings profess to.

TJ would be nice, but I think will want too much money. Hopefully I'm wrong on that.

BettorFan said...

Housh would be a great addition to the Vikings, but I think he could fit in everywhere. The Vikings need to pick up an elite WR to keep the defense honest.

DUI_Guy said...

It's easy to see why Pittsburgh isn't working to retain Nate:

1) The tendency to drop passes over his career so far (some of which have come in the end zone).
2) His being uncomfortable with quick-hitting routes. Apparently, his best work comes from running fly routes (sounds familiar).*
3) Catching roughly half of the passes thrown his way since he became involved in Pittsburgh's offense in '06. Not only is that his career average, it was his average year-in, year-out; so it's questionable that he's made big strides in his development, at least as far as catching passes is concerned.*

Also, he leaves Pittsburgh with little, if any for that penchant to throw nasty blocks (THE REASON Limas Sweed won me over this past season). He can block, but it's more like the kind of thing you'd see from the Jaguars (before Wilford left), as opposed to the stuff that makes Ravens defenders openly bitch. But that's not much of a strike against him, so I digress.

Bottom line, Nate brings unparallelled speed (the whole Steelers team swears he was their fastest guy; Santonio Holmes ran sub 4.4s at the Combine) but spotty hands. While he backed up Holmes at flanker, he lined up at split end when forced to start. As a pragmatist I'd say he mirrors Berrian somewhat, faster (seriously) but with worse hands. If I had to be optimistic I'd say his consistency should improve on a team that doesn't wait until late in games to start going deep the way the Steelers seem to.


Anonymous said...

Housh stayed in Minny over night and his limo was seen at Winter Park again this morning (sunday march1). I think we can assume that we are closing in on a deal since he was supposed to be in Tampa or Philadelphia today.

Anonymous said...

Paying each of two great WRs $10 million per year makes little sense if all you can afford is $3 million per year for a backup QB to throw to them.