On future, Houshmandzadeh 'open to everything'

November 27, 2008|By Ken Murray

T.J. Houshmandzadeh of the Bengals might be in the audition phase of his season when the Ravens visit Cincinnati on Sunday.

Due to hit the free-agent market this offseason, the Pro Bowl wide receiver didn't exactly endorse Cincinnati as a viable option yesterday during a conference call with Baltimore media.

"I'm open to everything because I figure I want to win, and I think Cincinnati can win here, but it's just a tough situation," Houshmandzadeh said. "I haven't signed a contract, so when you haven't signed a contract up until that point, your whole mind-set tells you - and it's sad to think like this - that you're going to leave because you haven't signed a deal."

Asked whether he would sign with the Ravens if Ray Lewis told him to come, Houshmandzadeh hedged only slightly: "If I'm fortunate enough to get to Hawaii [for the Pro Bowl] - because I know Ray will be there - we'll talk about it."

Houshmandzadeh, 31, is in his eighth season with the Bengals. A seventh-round draft pick in 2001 from Oregon State, he has 492 catches for 37 touchdowns in his career. The Bengals reached the playoffs in 2005 under coach Marvin Lewis but have gone 16-26-1 since then and are 1-9-1 this season.

Houshmandzadeh said he told his agent, Kennard McGuire, he doesn't want to negotiate with the Bengals during the season.

"If you make it to this point in the season, there's really no need to negotiate," he said. "You wait until the season ends and then you go into free agency."

Does Houshmandzadeh have a future in Cincinnati?

"Ah, man, to be continued," he said.

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