The Seahawks are trying to trade receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and are expected to release him if they can't make a deal.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh left Seattle on Friday, flying out of town.

His departure from the Seahawks is expected Saturday, when the team is expected to release him if it can’t trade him. Saturday is the deadline for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 53 players.

Either way, Seattle is expected to cut ties with the receiver it signed only a year ago, even if that means eating the $7 million in guaranteed salary he is owed for 2010.

Houshmandzadeh did not answer his phone or return a text message Friday. Chad Ochocinco, his former teammate at Oregon State and with the Cincinnati Bengals, expressed his surprise on Twitter.

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“Disturbing news,” Ochocinco wrote. “I can’t even fathom the thought of a receiver the caliber of Housh being traded, let alone released.”

Ochocinco indicated he will be lobbying heavily for the Bengals to bring him back. Houshmandzadeh played eight seasons in Cincinnati before signing with Seattle as a free agent in March 2009.

The addition was considered a victory when Houshmandzadeh picked the Seahawks over the Minnesota Vikings or a return to the Bengals. He caught 79 passes last season, the most on the team, but fewer than he had in any of the previous three seasons.

Now it appears Seattle not only decided Mike Williams and Deion Branch are better choices for starring roles in the offense, but that Houshmandzadeh is ill-suited to be part of the supporting cast or injury insurance. Seattle is poised to part ways with Houshmandzadeh, a receiver who averaged 93 catches the previous four seasons, rather than risk the possibilityfact he might not suffer silently if his opportunities are reduced.

The Seahawks will instead clear room for younger receivers like Golden Tate and Deon Butler. It also increases the likelihood Ben Obomanu will be kept for a special-teams role, along with perhaps Brandon Jones, a former third-round pick Seattle signed during training camp.


• DE Nick Reed will not be part of the 53-man roster, having negotiated an injury settlement with the Seahawks, a report confirmed by his agent. Reed, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Oregon, underwent knee surgery several weeks ago. An injury settlement allows a player to receive compensation for an injury, and sign with another team.

Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or