The connection is there. You bring in a veteran passer like Carson Palmer and -- on an Oakland team with mostly young wideouts -- go out and grab veteran free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who enjoyed his best seasons with the quarterback in Cincinnati.
"None," Jackson told the Bay Area News Group of Palmer's influence on the signing. "A lot of people have said -- and Iâve heard all the reports; you walk around and look, and some of the coaches have their TVs on -- 'Oh, this is a Carson Palmer deal.'
"Carson Palmer had nothing to do with this. I tried to get T.J. during training camp. People forget that I had a relationship with T.J. I coached him and I know exactly what he is. So, this wasn't Carson's idea, by no stretch."
Jackson doesn't need to convince anyone about his role in the transaction. Since the death of Al Davis, the coach has pulled the personnel strings in Oakland, and he coached Houshmandzadeh from 2004 to 2006, just before the wideout's finest season in 2007, when he caught 112 passes for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns -- all from Palmer.
Much was made of Houshmandzadeh signing with the Ravens last season, but he ended the year with only 30 catches and one huge playoff drop against the Steelers that effectively ended Baltimore's season. Palmer said this week that T.J. plays with "a chip on his shoulder," but the 32-year-old receiver hasn't caught a pass from Palmer since 2008, and it remains to be seen what impact this will have on a team that strives for younger, faster wideouts.