EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- When T.J. Houshmandzadeh made a free-agent visit to the Minnesota Vikings at the beginning of March, he was impressed by everything he saw. Well, almost everything.
"It was just a class organization," Houshmandzadeh said.
"You knew Minnesota had a good team. It came down to, it felt like the quarterback situation was better here," Houshmandzadeh said. "I did what any receiver would do."
Little did Houshmandzadeh know that Brett Favre would come to Minnesota two weeks into training camp and deliver an MVP-caliber performance in the first half of the season, putting the Vikings (8-1) in contention for the NFC's top playoff seed.
"Obviously, it doesn't look like I made the right decision," Houshmandzadeh said. "But it's too early. It's been (nine) games."
Houshmandzadeh had his best game as a Seahawk last weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, catching nine passes for 165 yards in a 31-20 loss. But he also has five games this season in which he failed to top 50 receiving yards, production that certainly has been affected by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck missing two games with a rib injury.
What if Favre already had been in purple when Houshmandzadeh was agonizing over the decision?
"Had he been there, who knows what could have happened?" Houshmandzadeh said. "What if ... What if ..."
The Vikings saw the former Cincinnati Bengal as the big, precise route runner they needed to complement speedster Bernard Berrian on the outside. But when Houshmandzadeh headed to Seattle instead, he might have helped out Minnesota.
Had Houshmandzadeh signed a big contract to play for the Vikings, they might not have selected University of Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin with their first-round draft pick in April. Harvin has been a revelation in his first nine games as a pro, leading the league in yards per kick return and emerging as one of Favre's favorite big-play targets.
"Too bad he didn't come here. I don't know," Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said with a wry grin. "All I know is we've got Percy, Bernard (Berrian) and Sidney (Rice), and those are the guys that we love and we need here. They're making huge plays here.
"He made a decision. He decided what's best for his career. We feel good over here. Hopefully he feels good over there."
Houshmandzadeh said Thursday that he's feeling more like himself lately and wasn't ready to say he made the wrong choice by signing with the Seahawks.
"As of now, it doesn't look like I made the best decision," Houshmandzadeh said. "But you can't say it's a bad decision. It's been one year. I feel like I have many more years I'll be playing. I feel good."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press