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What’s up with T.J.?

March 1st, 2009 – 12:59 PM by Judd Zulgad

We know all of you who are checking Access Vikings today — and we do appreciate it — likely care about one thing and one thing only. Where do things stand with wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh?

The free agent remains inside Winter Park as the Vikings continue their push to sign him before he leaves town. All indications are that the Vikings, Seahawks and Bengals are in the running for Houshmandzadeh. However, the reality of free agency is this: Once a player leaves the facility of a team which he is visiting that’s often it. That means the Seahawks might be in trouble.

All indications are that the Vikings are extremely confident they can get something done. The receiver said in a text message to the Cincinnati Enquirer on Saturday that he wanted to make a decision by tonight and it’s likely it will come down to the Vikings and Bengals.

Given the treatment Houshmandzadeh has been getting from the Vikings — a private plane ride to Minnesota, dinner at Manny’s Steakhouse, etc. — I like the Vikings chances. Today’s most important steps will be for Houshmandzadeh’s agent, Kennard McGuire, to negotiate a contract with the Vikings (it wouldn’t be surprising if the framework has been set) and for Houshmandzadeh to like what he has heard from coaches and executives about what his role would be in this offense.

If all goes well in those areas, Houshmandzadeh could be wearing a Purple jersey at a news conference as early as Monday. Stay tuned.

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Access Vikings

Join Vikings beat writers Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins on a usually informative and often irreverent journey inside the Vikings.

Just like the NFL, Zulgad and Scoggins go at it all year long -- on and off the field.