Big-play wide receiver decides on Seahawks

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T.J. Houshmandzadeh signed with the Seattle Seahawks after a stressful weekend during which the top free-agent wide receiver weighed an offer from the Minnesota Vikings and dismissed his former Cincinnati Bengals.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh has had three consecutive seasons with at least 90 catches, including a league co-leading 112 in 2007.  Associated Press
Associated Press
T.J. Houshmandzadeh has had three consecutive seasons with at least 90 catches, including a league co-leading 112 in 2007.

Reports say the deal is for $40 million over five years.

Houshmandzadeh has had three consecutive seasons with at least 90 catches, including a league co-leading 112 in 2007.

GIANTS: Plaxico Burress could be welcomed back by New York -- if the Super Bowl star can straighten out his legal problems stemming from a weapons charge and get his life back in order.

"Right now he is still a Giant and if things work out and he's on board with what we want coming back, we'd love to have him back," general manager Jerry Reese said.

Burress' future is cloudy because he faces an illegal weapons possession charge relating to a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a New York City nightclub in late November. He faces a mandatory 31/2 years in prison if convicted.

BRONCOS: Insist that Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler isn't on the trading block.

Cutler was angered during the weekend, when his name came up in talks involving a three-way trade that would have sent him to Tampa Bay and landed Matt Cassel in Denver. Instead, New England traded Cassel to Kansas City.

New Broncos coach Josh McDaniels tutored Cassel in New England last season. McDaniels and Cutler are scheduled to meet next week.

BUCCANEERS: Retooling offensively after missing the playoffs, Tampa Bay signed free-agent running back Derrick Ward to a four-year, $17 million contract.

The former New York Giants backup rushed for 1,025 yards and two touchdowns in 2008 while sharing playing time with Brandon Jacobs, who also gained more than 1,000 yards.

Bengals: Free-agent running back Cedric Benson accepted a two-year deal from Cincinnati, which wanted him to stay as its top running back.

Benson finished the season with 747 yards on 214 carries.

COWBOYS: Signed free-agent linebacker Matt Stewart to a one-year contract.

Stewart was out of football in 2008 after Arizona released him. He was a fourth-round pick by Atlanta in 2001 and played four seasons with the Falcons.


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