With the long-term future of Chad Johnson being a member of the Bengals in doubt, the team has opened up talks about a contract extension for now feature wide out T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The Cincy Enquirer reported today that the team will meet with T.J.’s reps on Thursday to continue talks about a long-term deal. Houshmandzadeh is slated to make $2.525 million in 2008, which would be the final year of his deal.
This last season was a breakout year for Houshmandzadeh, who caught 112 passes (career high) for 1143 yards (career high) and 12 TD’s (career high). He really became Carson Palmer’s favorite target, and while Johnson continued to make more news off the field, the 2001 7th round pick in Houshmandzadeh overshadowed the play of Johnson on the field. At 6-1 and 199 pounds, T.J. has the size and strength to separate and make plays down the field.
T.J. made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 07, wrapping up his best season as a pro, despite the Bengals having a tough season in which for the second straight season they missed the playoffs. The Enquirer says that the deal for T.J. should be about five year at about $25 mil. I stick with my thoughts earlier in the week, move Johnson and break the bank on Houshmandzadeh, who has worked hard enough and deserves a new deal.