Ozzie comments on T.J. signing and Clayton trade

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome was a busy man today, signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh and trading Mark Clayton to the Rams for a late-round draft pick.

In Houshmandzadeh (whose name I now feel comfortable spelling without having to look it up), Newsome acquired a proven wide receiver who the Ravens have seen up close and personal from his eight years with division rival Cincinnati.

“The first things that pop out at you about T.J. are that he has been very productive and durable in his first nine years in the NFL,” Newsome said in a statement. “Plus, we saw him more than we wanted making a lot of plays against us. We had interest in him a year ago when he first became a free agent before he signed with Seattle.

“He’s another proven weapon for our offense - a big receiver with good hands and toughness. The one other thing that every coach and player we talked with about him indicated is that T.J. is a driven player with an excellent work ethic.”

Meanwhile, to make room for Houshmandzadeh on the 53-man roster, the Ravens traded Clayton, their 2005 first-round pick. That move was tough on Newsome, who admitted that the Ravens didn’t necessary want to let Clayton go.

“Mark is a good person who did everything he could to help the Ravens on and off the field,” Newsome said. “In the end, we have to do what we think is best for the team, but letting Mark go hurts. He was first class all the way, even when we met with him about the trade. This is a tough part of the business.”

The Ravens also officially announced today that they have signed QB Hunter Cantwell to their practice squad. That leaves them with one open spot on the eight-man developmental roster.

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