Raiders sign WR Houshmandzadeh

The Raiders have reached an agreement with veteran wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the team announced on its Twitter account.

Houshmandzadeh was scheduled to work out with the Raiders on Tuesday, and coach Hue Jackson apparently liked what he saw, enough to put a deal in place for the veteran minimum salary prorated over the remainder of the season. The deal will pay Houshmandzadeh approximately $500,000 for the final nine games.

Jackson was the Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach when Houshmandzadeh, 34, had some of his biggest seasons. He played the last two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens, respectively. He excels as a slot receiver and gives quarterback Carson Palmer, who also played with the Bengals, a familiar target.

The Raiders must cut a player to accomodate Housmandzadeh, with fullback Manase Tonga a potential candidate, assuming regular starter Marcel Reece has returned to health and is able to play against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Houshmandzadeh will wear No. 84 for the Raiders. He is expected to be on the practice field Wednesday, the next time the Raiders assemble.

It’s unclear whether Houshmandzadeh will be ready in time for the Broncos game. He hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 15, when the Ravens were eliminated from the AFC Playoffs. He had four receptions for 66 yards in the Ravens two playoff games.

It’s worth noting that Jackson played linebacker Aaron Curry after only one practice with the Raiders and Palmer after only three practices. Houshmandzadeh will get in three practices before the Broncos game.

Houshmandzadeh caught 241 passes for 3,105 yards and 20 touhdowns from 2004-06, when Jackson was the Bengals receivers coach.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer