Late for Work 4/7: Housh Wants to Return to Baltimore

Plus, chances Housh returns, Mason criticizes Goodell, don’t hold breath for mediation.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 at 9:17 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Houshmandzadeh Wants to Return to Baltimore

Free agent receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said he would like to come back to Baltimore next season and could even be willing to accept a complimentary role.

Asked on Sirius NFL Radio if re-signing with the Ravens is his top priority, Housmandzadeh responded in the affirmative.

“I really, really, really enjoyed my time there,” Houshmandzadeh said. “You will never hear me say anything bad about the Baltimore Ravens. It was an unbelievable experience for me. Obviously things didn’t go the way I would have liked. But from top to bottom, unbelievable, man, the way they treat you, the way they run things, it is unbelievable.

“The things you hear about it, about the Baltimore Ravens organization, is true. I couldn’t believe the way they treated me and just the way they treat everybody there. It’s an unbelievable experience.”

Throughout last season, the 10-year veteran was vocally unhappy about his role behind Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. Housh finished his 2010 campaign with 30 catches, the fewest balls he’s nabbed since his 2001 rookie season.

Despite last year’s low production, Houshmandzadeh said it is not a requirement to be a starter.

“My ideal situation – and this is the honest truth – is just let me compete,” said the 33-year-old veteran. “If I’m not good enough to start, if I’m not good enough to be on the field, I’m fine with that. I’m honestly fine with that.

“As long as there is competition and it’s a fair competition it doesn’t matter to me because as an athlete you know if somebody is better than you.”

Houshmandzadeh believes the Ravens are “real close” to winning a Super Bowl and said they were one bounce or one catch away from that opportunity. He once again took responsibility for dropping a critical pass in the fourth quarter of the divisional playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Hopefully I can be back there to help this team get to where they’re trying to go or we were trying to go because, one, it’s a great team and, two, like I said, you can’t say it enough, the way they treat you,” said Houshmandzadeh.

“Harbaugh, unbelievable coach, man, one of my favorite coaches that I’ve played for and you would never think that. Going in I didn’t think that and it was just a great experience for myself.”

Chances of Housh’s Return?

Add this to the list of free-agent questions that will be in limbo until the NFL labor dispute is resolved.

But why wait till then to speculate?

Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson doesn’t see a reunion between Houshmandzadeh and the Ravens.

“It’s very unlikely that T.J. Houshmandzadeh will be brought back now that his one-year deal has expired,” tweeted Wilson. “Both sides will move on.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked in a Ravens’ fan forum last month if he thought Houshmandzadeh and fellow receiver Donte’ Stallworth would be back in Baltimore.

The answer is that I don’t really know,” Harbaugh said at the time. “I like all those guys. As a coach, you want all the good players you can get. You like having veteran players too. It’s not always possible to keep all those guys.

“So I just don’t know. We’ll just have to see.”

Mason Calls Goodell ‘A Joke’

Mason was critical of Roger Goodell for his recent comments about the league insisting human growth hormone testing be a part of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The Ravens receiver called Goodell “a joke” and believes the he should solely focus on resolving the current labor dispute rather than preoccupy himself with drug testing.

“He needs to stop crying about blood tests and HGH,” Mason said during a radio interview with 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore.” He needs to try to get a deal done, that’s what he needs to do.”

“He’s been on this crusade about HGH, but he needs to be on a crusade about getting these owners together and trying to work out a deal.”

In the video clip below from the “Mike and Mike in the Morning” radio/TV show, Mike Golic said he understands Mason’s frustrations, but doesn’t understand why Mason would publicly make those statements.

Golic believes Goodell is capable of addressing both issues at the same time.

“Do we do things called multi-tasking all the time?” Golic asked. “To think that [Goodell] can’t bring that up. When they were mediating, he talked about the mediation. Then the union decertified. There’s nothing to talk to as far as mediation anymore…

“So to sit there and say the commissioner should still be doing everything to get it done, well he can only do what’s in his power to do now that the union has decertified. So when he’s asked about performance-enhancing drugs or talks about wanting to get HGH out on testing, I don’t have a problem with that. To think he can’t talk about both, I think, is a little unrealistic.”

Don’t Hold Your Breath for Mediation While Judge Makes Decision

After a five-hour hearing on the legality of the NFL lockout yesterday, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said she’d take “a couple of weeks” to rule on the players’ request to return to work.

The federal judge urged the players and NFL not to wait that long before they return to mediation.

Neither Newsday’s Bob Glauber nor NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora believe the two sides will heed Nelson’s advice.

“Despite Judge Susan Nelson urging attorneys from NFL and players to meet in settlement discussions, don’t hold your breath,” tweeted Glauber.

Added La Canfora, “Based on what I’m hearing from NFL and NFLPA, can’t say I’m optimistic they negotiate/litigate before Judge makes any decisions.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained that after Nelson takes a couple of weeks to make her decision, an appeal from the losing side will be inevitable but the appeal process could take 45 to 60 days.

Now we’re into mid-to-late June,” wrote Schefter.

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