SEATTLE — Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was sent packing from Seattle on Saturday, cut by the Seahawks after just one season as coach Pete Carroll continued his roster purge.
Houshmandzadeh, the Seahawks’ leading receiver last season, was in the second year of a $40 million, five-year deal he signed with Seattle before the 2009 season. But he came to Seattle under a different regime with Jim Mora as coach and Tim Ruskell the general manager. Both Mora and Ruskell were gone after Seattle went 5-11 last season and now so is Houshmandzadeh.
Last season, Houshmandzadeh caught 79 passes for 911 yards and three touchdowns, his fewest receptions since 2005 and his fewest touchdowns since 2002. But he was still clearly the Seahawks No. 1 receiver.
That changed this spring when Carroll gave former Southern California star Mike Williams another opportunity after becoming a bust in Detroit. Williams took advantage of the opportunity with 10 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown during the preseason. Deion Branch will be the other receiver opposite Williams, with rookie Golden Tate, Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu rounding out the receiving corps.
Even with his release, Houshmandzadeh is guaranteed $7 million for the 2010 season.
Also cut by the Seahawks was third-string quarterback and former first-round pick J.P. Losman, leaving the Seahawks with just starter Matt Hasselbeck and backup Charlie Whitehurst to begin the season.
Seattle placed offensive tackle Ray Willis on injured reserve and reached injury settlements with defensive end Nick Reed and defensive tackle Jonathan Lewis.
It was all part of a hectic Saturday for the Seahawks, who were thrown another surprise when offensive line coach Alex Gibbs abruptly retired. Seattle also traded for Philadelphia offensive lineman Stacy Andrews for a 2011 draft pick, but the Seahawks said the deal was still awaiting formal league approval.
Other veterans cut by the Seahawks included linebacker Tyjuan Hagler, wide receivers Brandon Jones and Ruvell Martin, defensive tackle Amon Gordon and defensive end James Wyche. Safety Jamar Adams and running back Louis Rankin, both contributors for the Seahawks at the end of last season, were waived.
Seattle also placed linebacker Leroy Hill on the suspended list as he serves a one-game suspension issued by the league for off-field legal issues. He’ll be eligible to rejoin the team on Sept. 13, following their season opener against San Francisco.