The Bengals today slapped kicker Shayne Graham with the franchise tag.
That is news you would usually care less about here at MTC.
But there is a greater significance.
It means T.J. Houshmandzadeh will not be getting the franchise tag.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Houshmandzadeh now puts the chances of playing elsewhere next season at "99.2 percent."
Not 99.3. Not 99.4. But 99.2.
Per the article, he said he'll consider the Bengals once free agency begins if they offer him "a fair deal."
Hobson reported at the end of last week that the Bengals were going to make a run at Houshmandzadeh once he hit the open market.
If you do a quick Google search, you'll find that pretty much every fan base in America wants their team to sign Houshmandzadeh. And the veteran wideout obviously added fuel to the fire in Philadelphia when he went on the radio here and said he could be interested in playing for the Eagles.
As I pointed out at the time, he also pumped up Rex Grossman to a Chicago radio station.
So take everything with a grain of salt my friends.
The free-agency signing period begins Friday, Feb. 27 at 12:01 a.m.
It was a pretty busy day in the NFL. Some other quick notes:
** The Ravens cut ties with veteran cornerback Chris McAlister. Per baltimoresun.com, the move will save the team $8 million in cap room. McAlister was the Ravens' first-round pick in 1999 and has been with the team ever since. He is 31 years old.
** Longtime Jaguars running back Fred Taylor is also now available. Jacksonville cut the 11-year veteran, even though he offered to take a pay cut, according to the Florida Times-Union.