Houshmandzadeh staying in Cincy?

We are less than two hours away from the start of free agency, and the T.J. Houshmandzadeh rumors are swirling.

The National Football Post reports that the Bengals and Houshmandzadeh are close to reaching a new contract agreement. NFP said there is a 70 percent chance a deal will get done.

However, Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Houshmandzadeh, and the Bengals receiver sounded like nothing was brewing, saying he had not even talked to his agent today.

“The only person from the Bengals who I’ve talked to today is Carson [Palmer] and he said ‘Don’t forget about us,’ ” Houshmandzadeh said, according to the article.

Meanwhile, Reedy lists the Eagles as one of three favorites, along with the Giants and the Bears, for Houshmandzadeh. The wide receiver is looking for a deal upwards of $10 million per season, according to Reedy.

Some other nuggets I picked up while watching NFL Network and blogging on profootballtalk.com the last two hours:

** Steve Wyche of the NFL Network mentioned the Atlanta Falcons as a possible destination for L.J. Smith.

** The Detroit Lions tried to trade for Panthers cornerback Ken Lucas today, but Lucas vetoed the deal, according to NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

However, the Lions are still looking for secondary help, according to Tom Kowalski of MLive.com.

"They're trying to trade for any and every cornerback,'' a league source told Kowalski.

Does Lito Sheppard fit the category of "any and every cornerback"? Just asking.

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